Overall Value (15%) - 8.2
Level of Customization (15%) - 8.2
Search Engine Friendliness (10%) - 8.2
Depth of Reporting Tools (5%) - 8.6
Mobile Commerce Integration (5%) - 8.2
Customer Service (15%) - 8.2
Ease of Use (15%) - 8.2
Range of Tools Available (10%) - 8
Social Media / Social Commerce Integration (5%) - 7.4
Free Trial Features (5%) - 6.5
- Purchase a License or Lease a Monthly
- Includes Customizable Modules to Improve Shopping Cart
- Customizable Shopping Cart
- Search Engine Friendly
Miva Merchant is a licensed ecommerce solution that also lets users lease out a monthly license for a low fee, which provides a great option for merchants that want to get their feet wet with this shopping cart solution before buying a license outright. Miva Merchant comes in 3 hosted packages that differ based on email accounts, SSL certificate, and bandwidth. What is nice about each package is that they all offer unlimited products, which many merchants appreciate when comparing the monthly fee to other ecommerce solutions with similar feature sets. Miva Merchant is unique because users can fully customize their shopping cart by adding various third-party modules to their solution. Each module provides a different set of features, which allows merchants to pick and choose the features they want in their ecommerce solution with ease. Modules do come at an extra cost, but this is usually a low one-time fee. To learn more about what Miva Merchant has to offer including pros and cons of this ecommerce solution, read the Miva Merchant review below.
2011 Miva Merchant Review: Expert Shopping Cart Review
Miva Merchant is well known by ecommerce merchants who have been in the space for many years, as their ecommerce software has been a popular solution powering thousands of online stores. Small and medium-sized businesses selling online often choose Miva Merchant as it is a trusted name in ecommerce, and provides merchants with robust features that will help them to run their online store. There are also a lot of services which Miva Merchant offers, which is a plus for those merchants who are strapped for time, or who do not have the technical skills to accomplish what they need for their online store. Another feature which merchants enjoy is that Miva Merchant has a variety of modules which can be purchased to enhance an online store, like modules for daily deals, statistics, and email.
The Miva Merchant team is based out of San Diego, California, and each year they put on a great event for their merchants called the Miva Merchant Conference. Not only are merchants excited about heading to Southern California during the Winter, but it is also a very educational event that allows merchants to bond with the Miva Merchant team and build a better rapport. There are a number of sessions and workshops where merchants can get hands on training that they can then use to improve the performance of their online store throughout the rest of the year. If having your voice heard is a priority when choosing an ecommerce solution, then Miva Merchant is a great choice, as this conference will let you speak to the Miva team face to face.
If Miva Merchant sounds like an ecommerce software solution that might work for your online business, then you can review them further in our report card above, or continue through this Miva Merchant review
Miva Merchant Setup & Design
In order to get started using Miva Merchant, you will need to start by inputting basic information about yourself and your online store, which is essential to move forward so you can open your online store and start selling. Next, merchants will need to configure a few details like choosing a store user interface, unit of measurement (ie pounds), sales tax calculation, and currency formatting. This should be really easy to tackle, and few merchants have any trouble, but those that do can always contact the U.S. based customer support team at Miva Merchant to get the help they need. Of course there are still additional things that need to be set up, but these are the basics, and once those are complete most merchants want to jump into the design of their online store before getting too technical.
Merchants have a variety of attractive ecommerce templates to choose from when using Miva Merchant, which they can add their logo to and change colors to match their branding. Technically merchants will not need to know PHP, CSS, or HTML, but it will help if they want to take their design further with specific customizations to the source code. Miva Merchant also has Store Morph Technology™, which allows merchants to easily control the layout and content of each page in their online store. This ensures that everything can be customized to fit the needs of each unique online business. However if you are still a bit unsure about handling this on your own, there are also a number of experienced freelance Miva Merchant designers who work with merchants to create a truly unique look for their online store, so that it can stand out among other ecommerce sites in the niche.
Product & Order Management With Miva Merchant
Products and orders are the lifeblood on an online store, as it is impossible to have a successful venture unless you have products to display and orders coming in from the customers on your site. Miva Merchant knows that merchants will spend a good amount of time each week overseeing their products and orders, so they made sure to give proper attention to this section of their administration panel. All aspects of product management are fairly simple in Miva Merchant, as merchants can either add products one by one, or opt to import them all at once. Merchants can quickly create top level categories and subcategories to which the products will be assigned, as well as the attributes that will help to fill out the variations of products carried. Miva Merchant has a variety of videos dedicated to the various elements of product management, that are helpful for merchants who want to improve their knowledge of the ecommerce software solution. Overall the product management capabilities with Miva Merchant are solid, and merchants should be able to accomplish all that they need on a day-to-day basis.
There is nothing particularly special about the order management capabilities with the Miva Merchant ecommerce solutions, as merchants will be able to quickly handle their customers’ orders in one centralized location within the admin panel. Merchants can also set up template based order emails and a customer order confirmation HTML email, which is a must to make sure that the customer has a professional shopping experience at your online store. There are other features you can add to your product and order management systems, but these come in the form of modules, which usually require a one-time payment to plug into your online store. The system can be a bit tricky to navigate through for some merchants, so be sure to leverage the Miva Merchant support team if you have any troubles with your order or shipping management tools.
Marketing & SEO With Miva Merchant
Once your ecommerce store is up and running you need to work on your SEO and marketing efforts so you can be found in search engines, gain interested visitors, and hopefully lead them to put something in their shopping cart and make a purchase. In terms of SEO, Miva Merchant allows their merchants to control all of the elements that are key to helping your webpages rank well in the search engines. Merchants can modify meta titles, descriptions, tags, and even alt attributes. There are a few aspects of SEO missing from Miva Merchant though, which include the ability to quickly create a robots.txt file, define URL structures, and ensure keyword density. These are all things you can do on your own, of course, but if you are searching for an ecommerce solution that has all of SEO covered, consider BigCommerce or AmeriCommerce.
Another useful marketing tool that Miva Merchant provides is affiliate management software, which is a great way to get other web publishers to promote your online store in return for a small commission. Once merchants arrive at your online store, you can use a variety of Miva Merchant features to help improve sales like cross sells, up sells, or offering up multiple products in a kit. One area where Miva Merchant is not that strong is on social media, as they have not yet included things like the ability to set up a shop on Facebook or easily integrate social sharing functionality. It’s likely that these features will soon be available through add on modules though, which will let you pick and choose the features you want and completely customize your ecommerce package.
Hosting, Security & Customer Support
Merchants know that security and reliability are key elements to being successful when selling online, and the Miva Merchant shopping cart software is PA-DSS certified, and their ecommerce hosting is PCI comliant, plus they provide 256-bit SSL encryption. Customers will know that their data is safe, and have added confidence to make a purchase from your online store. Miva Merchant performs daily backups, so you can be sure that your data is safe, in case something was to go wrong. Merchants who have any trouble with the ecommerce software can get free customer support from the Miva Merchant team out of San Diego, California. When ZippyCart secret shopped Miva Merchant, we determined that overall, customer support is pretty good. Calling into Miva Merchant won’t mean dedicating hours to hold music. Instead, you’ll reach someone who is knowledgeable about the solution and willing to work with you to solve your problems.
Miva Merchant Review: Pricing, Packages & Conclusion
If Miva Merchant sounds like a potential fit for your ecommerce needs, then you should know about the different hosted packages they offer merchants. All Miva Merchant hosted packages come with the ability to have unlimited products, and the bandwidth allocations are generous. Their entry level option starts off at $59.95, and it tops out at $540 per month for those merchants who want a dedicated server. Miva Merchant also offers a licensed version of their product for $995, for those merchants who want to pay a one-time fee and then get hosting handled on their own. Merchants wanting to learn more about Miva Merchant before they buy can review our Miva Merchant customer reviews here on ZippyCart.