Practical Ecommerce

Quick Query: Miva Merchant EVP Rick Wilson

Miva Merchant is a pioneering shopping cart. First launched in 1995, it rose, and then fell, with the dot-com boom and bust. Findwhat.com, a publicly traded company, purchased Miva Merchant in 2004. Findwhat.com subsequently renamed itself Miva, only to sell the Miva Merchant shopping cart division to private investors in August 2007. One of these investors, Rick Wilson, is a former Miva Merchant executive who rejoined the company. We asked him about the new Miva Merchant.

PeC: What’s going on with Miva Merchant?

ALTWILSON: We’re very much in a growth mode and are fully committed to ensuring Miva Merchant is the best in class ecommerce product available.

PeC: There are more than 300 shopping cart choices.  Why should a business choose Miva Merchant?

WILSON: Because no other shopping cart in our space has the flexibility, scalability or proven track record that comes with Miva Merchant. We have customers just starting out in ecommerce going all the way to the multi-million dollar ecommerce sites. We effectively offer an enterprise class framework wrapped in a point-and-click infrastructure that allows people to jump into our product regardless of where there business is now and have the confidence that our architecture can grow along with their needs.

PeC: How much does a license cost when purchased directly from Miva Merchant?

WILSON: $995.

PeC: But many hosts offer Miva Merchant for free.  Why should a business purchase a license when it’s free elsewhere?

WILSON: The benefit of buying Miva Merchant from us really applies to companies who want the software on their own private servers. When you buy Miva Merchant from us we’ll install it for free and include a year of unlimited technical support directly from our in-house support experts.

PeC: Does Miva Merchant provide free support to merchants who obtain your software from a hosting company?

WILSON: Yes, we provide 30 days free support to customers who come through our hosts.

PeC: Tell us about the new Miva Merchant: How many employees, who are the principals and where are you located?:

WILSON: We’re located in San Diego and currently have about 22 employees and expect to grow significantly this year. The principals are Russell Carroll, our new CEO, Mark Johnson, vice president of development, David Roquemore, vice president of technology and me, the executive vice president.

PeC: What is your history with Miva?

WILSON: I started with the company in 1999 as director of sales, became vice president of sales and business development in 2002 and stayed on through our sale to FindWhat.com (now MIVA) and then left the company in August 2005. I’m now the executive vice president and work in all aspects of the day-to-day operations.

PeC: How many businesses actively use Miva Merchant?

WILSON: Roughly 40,000.

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Comments ( 20 )

  1. Legacy User January 24, 2008 Reply

    I've used Miva Merchant since 1997. It's good software & the cart was easy to use for a first-ever, ecommerce venture. However, getting help is hopeless. I've read through volumes of their online help, but sometimes it's not solving my problems. They don't even respond to emails. Too bad, because I like the software.

    — *DavidW*

  2. Legacy User January 24, 2008 Reply

    David,

    Have you tried contacting us recently? If you have problems getting ahold of our support I would like to personally hear about it. You can call our main number at (858)490-2570 hit option 5 for the company directory and search for my name.

    Thanks,

    Rick

    — *Rick Wilson*

  3. Legacy User January 24, 2008 Reply

    My company has been using Miva since 1999. I have come within an inch of going to another shopping cart in the last 2 years because Miva has been completely unresponsive to any of my requests for added functionality. I hope that the new Miva doesn't forget where their paychecks come from.

    — *Mike*

  4. Legacy User January 26, 2008 Reply

    I have been a Miva user since the beginning of the company. The recent buy-back of the shopping cart, and the subsequent movement of customer support back to San Diego has me jumping for joy. The current team, not outsourced to some foreign land, understands the nuances of language, AND is extremely responsive. All of you with support problems must give the new kids on the block the opportunity to prove how much they care for your business. MIVA: keep up the excellent work!

    — *David Klemp*

  5. Legacy User January 25, 2008 Reply

    Hi Rick,

    I LOVE Miva– there are tons of great modules out there that really extend the functionality of it. Plus, there are several consultants (the one we use is Sebenza.com) that are available to help in all aspects of Miva as well as server admin. We just finished our busy 4th Quarter and Miva 5 handled the load with no problems or downtime. Hats off– I'm looking forwarded to the bug fixes in 5.5 and to see what else Miva has in store down the road.

    Regards,

    Brian
    http://www.shopwildplanet.com

    — *Brian – shopwildplanet.com*

  6. Legacy User January 27, 2008 Reply

    I have been using it since 2000 when I started my business.

    Please, please, please create a solution to operating with Google Checkout (yes I understand it is really their issue but that leaves a growing number of customers unable to use that checkout option.)

    And please come up with a streamlined checkout process in the product.

    — *Lon Weiss*

  7. Legacy User January 28, 2008 Reply

    I started using Miva years ago. And soon began looking for a new cart. It's very cumbersome software. It appears as if its develpers cared more about making it easy to set up the shopping cart than to actually run it. It was free with my hosting so I went with it. Since then, I've found much better features on many other free carts, Cube Cart, being what I'd recommend these days (though it's not free anymore).

    I wouldn't recommend Miva at all.

    — *John*

  8. Legacy User January 27, 2008 Reply

    I haven't been using Miva long but as a beginner in ecommerce, I have to say it's fairly easy to learn in advanced mode. The number of modules available allow you to customize your store with the same or similar functionality as big-box storefronts. Miva is also a cost effective and solid solution.

    — *Terence*

  9. Legacy User February 4, 2008 Reply

    When is MySQL 5.1 going to be supported?

    — *Gary*

  10. Legacy User February 12, 2008 Reply

    I was a Miva fanatic back when you could actually change some of the functions of the cart. I learned how to program in Mivascript just for that purpose. Once they changed all of that I left it for OsCommerce which I'm now leaving for Magento Commerce.

    — *Cartel*

  11. Legacy User February 14, 2008 Reply

    I've been working with Miva Merchant since version 1. I've tried other carts, the features and functions may be in them or they may not be. Trying to get support for these open source carts hasn't been the easiest thing in the world. You're pretty much treated like your a stupid noob. With Miva Merchant, I could ask what even I thought was a stupid question and still be treated with respect within the community. That's something that Miva Merchant has, is community!

    Other open source issues are the numerous security updates. Seems like no sooner did I get the thing installed, I had to turn around and upload updates. With MM5 all the updates are piped in.

    Watch for even more exciting things to be coming from Miva Merchant!

    — *Leslie*

  12. Legacy User February 20, 2008 Reply

    I think folks in India had been doing a pretty decent job and I think there was an issue with management who was not very supportive of download and training to people there until James took over the charge intoto. I think James Harrell should have been given enough time to manage the project. I found him a genious.

    I dont exactly agree with David Klemp's term of outsourcing to some country. I have been an active user of Miva Merchant too and had received good services when ever the need was and found people there extremly friendly and devoted to work. My issues were constantly taken care and resolved by the then supervisor mangal Tripathi.

    Cheers to new team to sustain the same!!

    — *Minimini*

  13. Legacy User March 3, 2008 Reply

    Hummm–! We had a problem with SEO and Meva. Have you resolved it? I like Open UI but the SEO stuff was mind boggeling. What would make me come back?

    — *Judi Stiegler*

  14. Legacy User March 5, 2008 Reply

    Hi judi,

    what is mind boggling about seo and miva merchant for you? it is easy to optimize miva merchant for the search engines in v4 and v5

    jason

    — *jason of jmh web services*

  15. Legacy User March 5, 2008 Reply

    My bead stores have been using Miva Merchant for years. We have tens of thousands of products and it is still very fast even with the dozen Miva Modules we have installed to enhance our store. We also use Miva Synchro to download our orders into Quickbooks. Our web host set us up with that. We host with a Miva Hosting Partner that Miva Tech support recommended to us called Morditech.com and we could not be happier. I highly recommend Miva and Morditech.com

    — *Robert E. Black*

  16. Legacy User March 11, 2008 Reply

    I smell a rat in Minimini. Someone is clearly trying to blow smoke with that post.

    — *rat sniffer*

  17. Legacy User March 16, 2008 Reply

    Jason,
    You have told me nothing. It was not easy I was running open UI. I really am looking for a reason to come back to Miva. I like the product, but the session codes and long URL's were killing me. Yes I a person do them, but they refused to work on Miva again. So we switched carts —and I am not happy.

    — *Judi*

  18. Legacy User May 10, 2008 Reply

    We have found that the new MIVA 5.5 is a great leap from the previous versions. As far as other carts out there, we have found that MIVA is the most customizable with plugins and more. Further more, it looks like MIVA is here to stay. It reminds me of when Steve Jobs left Apple Computer. The company almost when bankrupt. But when Steve Jobs came back, it brought the iPod, iPhone, iMac, AppleTV and more! SO I would say stay tuned. Anyone that buys their company back MUST have fresh ideas from their vacation!

    — *Rob Reisenwitz- Support Data Inc*

  19. Legacy User June 3, 2008 Reply

    As a web development company we created our first ecommerce store back in 1999 with MIVA Merchant and that store has been upgraded every year and now is running on Miva Merchant 5.5 with great success. It has been very stable and we based all of our ecommerce stores on Miva Merchant with very few issues. The new Miva Merchant 5.5 is easy to use and it allows us to create a cart to give our customers that they can manage. We expect to see it grow into a powerhouse of ecommerce.

    SpiderWeave.com
    http://spiderweave.com

    — *Mike Wolbert*

  20. lumasiscom September 4, 2008 Reply

    I have been using miva since 1999. I have been very loyal but am comparing options to X-cart at the moment. . . The history of corporate Miva has been shaky- so I am considering my options. BUT- I have sold multiple million dollars per year with miva merchant and stoneedge order manager on the backend. Luckily Stonnedge works with MOST carts.

    Thanks
    Jamie
    http://www.BrownsLampshades.com