ShopTab eCommerce Cart of the Week – Miva Merchant

There are so many online shopping cart options for today’s entrepreneurs and business owners to choose from. Each week ShopTab features one online shopping cart, interviewing the featured cart’s developer to provide an opportunity to learn about why their cart may be right for your business.

This week ShopTab sat down with Rick Wilson, the President and COO of Miva Merchant. He has been with Miva Merchant for over 10 years. Wilson started out as Director of North American sales back in 1999, and moved up to VP of Sales and Business Development in 2002. They sold the company to FindWhat, now MIVA, back in 2004 and then Wilson and a small team re-purchased the company from FindWhat/MIVA in 2007. The company is now based out of San Diego, California and is a privately held company. Wilson along with CTO and intellectual father Jon Burchmore and mutli decade technologist and CEO Russ Carroll have helped grow Mive Mercant to great success.

Q: Why did you launch Miva Merchant?

A: Well, I personally didn’t launch Miva Merchant, but I can tell you how Miva Merchant was born. Miva was originally a scripting language known as HTMLScript in the mid-nineties, similar to PHP. Our language had a solid community following it and as a proof of concept we wrote a shopping cart application, originally called KoolKat. The application became very popular, we renamed ourselves Miva and KoolKat became Miva Merchant and the rest as they say is history. We’re one of the best selling webstore applications of all time, with hundreds of thousands of live stores being deployed in the last 13 years.

Q: What features or benefits make Miva Merchant stand out?

A: We have a very deep philosophy about how we build our product and we consistently do two things:

First, we build for flexibility and scalability. We don’t pretend to know how you want to run your business and very few businesses are alike, so our product allows for a very unique experience. One that’s highly flexible with virtually unlimited customizations and scalability, yet maintains a streaming upgrade process that allows for us to deploy updates, security releases and new features without risk to your customizations and don’t require you to start over again every time a patch is released. We can stream patches, security releases and updates to your store for painless installation when the time is right for you.

Second, we don’t try to throw in the kitchen sink with our product. You’ll see many of our competitors who focus their product development on adding as many line items to a marketing checklist as they possibly can. Normally this creates a system that has lots of problems, doesn’t scale well and rarely do the features work they way the merchant actually expected them to work. Our product is like a blank canvass that allows the merchant to build a business that suites their needs and we have a vibrant community that builds inexpensive and reliable add-on modules for those rate cases when our out of the box software doesn’t do everything your business requires out of the box.

Of course we have all the normal things you’d expect in a shopping cart, from a CSS based shopping interface that can be customized without any Miva Merchant specific knowledge, unlimited product, categories and attributes (product options). We have a robust inventory system that supports even the most complex option requirements, a robust templating system that is a powerful CMS in it’s own right, SEO friendly design, 100% HTML5 W3C compliant code, affiliate programs, related product offerings, cross selling, up selling, special pricing and product availability that allows a merchant to offer both B2C and B2B in the same online store, and hundreds of other incredible features.

Q: How many products will your eCommerce platform allow?

A: Miva Merchant supports an unlimited number of products and sub-products, effectively as many as your server has space and resources to manage.

Q: What is the cost for Miva Merchant service?

A: We offer hosted versions starting at $59.95 a month. You can also get it from other webhosts or host it yourself, pricing varies with those options.

Q: What are Miva Merchant’s future plans for development or additional features?

A: Our product is constantly undergoing improvement. We recently released our PA-DSS Validated version that complies with all of the latest Visa and MasterCard requirements around security as set forth by the PCI Security Council (we are one of only a handful of shopping carts that have accomplished this mandatory validation out of the hundreds of shopping carts on the market).

We release approximately 4 – 6 updates per year that include feature enhancements, security refinements and bug fixes. We continue to expand our product to allow for merchants to focus on running their business versus worrying about how to build their online store.

Q: How is support handled for Miva Merchant customers?

A: All of our support is in house, if you host with us support is unlimited via the phone. If you host elsewhere, support through us will cost you $19.95 a month for unlimited phone support. Support is one of our strongest features and hands down the leader in this industry.

Q: Do you have any other comments about Miva Merchant for ShopTab readers?

A: Miva Merchant has unrivaled flexibility, scalability, support and a vibrant community to stand behind it. When you feel like nothing works as it’s supposed to and your current e-commerce provider is all hype, give us a look. You’ll find working with us is a refreshing experience. Oh and it’s easy to make us work with ShopTab 🙂

If you have any questions or feedback, we welcome you to contact us. You can email us, calls us on our toll-free numbers or chat to us online. We are here to help.

Check out Miva Merchant at http://www.mivamerchant.com. If you are currently using Miva Merchant please share your experience below in the comments.

Want to have your company’s eCommerce shopping cart featured or have a Shopping Cart Recommendation for a ShopTab Cart of the Week? Contact us with your suggestion.

Zach Beattie

Zach Beattie

Hi, I'm Zach! Welcome to the ShopTab blog, the best place to get the latest and greatest tips and tricks for Facebook selling and marketing your Facebook shop. Feel free to email me at zach (at) shoptab.net (yep, that's a real email) if you want to connect. I'd love to hear from you.