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Time to read: 4 minutes

This page will:

  • Give you confidence in Miva Merchant as your partner
  • Explain how our company is not only different from entry-level products, but head and shoulders above them
  • Help you understand the trap of entry-level solutions
  • Show how Miva Merchant can grow with you and support you

Businesses just like yours in a similar vertical with similar needs have successfully used Miva Merchant to start selling online. They've experienced how Miva Merchant was able to grow with them, help automate order fulfillment and simplify processes. All this is possible because we know that features are important - really important. But before we dig into the details, take a few minutes to understand Miva Merchant's philosophy, depth and commitment to your success.

Miva Merchant is different

Miva has been around longer than all the competition. We started before the dotcom boom was even a thing.

Miva is one of only a handful of ecommerce companies NOT funded by venture capital, which frees us to focus on long-term objectives, not short-term investor returns.

Following that, Miva is a profitable, privately owned company. This means our customers don't run the risks associated with an ecommerce company losing millions of dollars of venture capital money or having to answer to a parent company.

All plans include the same great feature set - features that several of our customers are using to generate $50,000,000 / year revenues - plus all of the back-end automation that makes such an operation viable.

Miva focuses on a fair and reasonable pricing strategy.

Miva has real U.S.-based, in-house 24/7 phone support available for free to all customers.

All plans include a unique instance of Miva Merchant hosted by the company best suited to optimize it: us.

The differences keep on multiplying

We painstakingly focus on reliability

Did you know that some of our competitors cause long periods of downtime or broken websites by simply pushing out a routine version update?

When software fails or becomes unreliable, it's usually triggered by an event, and that event often relates to updates. We know this from experience, and it's a hard problem to solve. That's why you need a company with Miva's longevity to solve it. Miva Merchant doesn't break on updates. Ever.

That doesn't mean we take such a scenario lightly. We meticulously track upgrade and update issues with a built-in system that detects potential problems before the update occurs, making sure that even if a problem is looming, it won't cause your website to break. Our internal goal is nothing less than 100% upgrade success.

We realized that there is no point in building a hosting environment with a track record of 99.99% uptime if we don't take upgrade reliability as seriously as possible.

We don't like limits and we don't like small-print gotchas

We give you unlimited products and categories because the number of products you have in your store has only a marginal impact on the amount it costs us to host you.

On top of that, if we start setting limits, we have to get into the details of what that means, which requires a lot of fine print and "gotchas" to protect ourselves. We don't like where that leads and we're guessing you don't either.

Do you know what our competitors mean when they say "Up to 100 Products"?
If you have a product available in 5 sizes and 5 colors, it doesn't count as ONE product - it counts as 25 toward your 100!

We'll say it again: we give you unlimited products, unlimited categories, unlimited subcategories, unlimited product variations (size, color, etc.), unlimited everything...because the number of products you have doesn't meaningfully impact our costs. Your cost to us relates to disk space, server resources and bandwidth.

We provide meaningful, helpful, timely support

In the current global business climate, it's very easy to offer "24/7 support." But we all know there's a huge difference between good support and bad support. How often is calling an 800 number the start of the frustration rather than the end of it?

Great support is not about ticking a box on a checklist. At Miva Merchant, all customers get free 24/7 phone, email and forum support. We have teams of real people in our San Diego and Tampa offices manning the phones 24/7, 365 days/year, ready to help.

We made a decision that good support means supporting your success, not just our product, and there is no other ecommerce solution provider that takes this as seriously as we do. Maybe that's why so many of our customers painlessly turn $100,000 businesses into $1,000,000+ businesses.

We also have full-time technical writers keeping our online user and developer documentation current, and resources dedicated to free training workshops and video tutorials.

We offer outstanding hosting and uptime

When you sign up for a Miva Merchant plan, you are signing up for a unique installation of Miva Merchant, as well as a world-class hosting account. The reason we do it this way is because history has shown that we do it better than anyone else.

Case in point: we have a historical uptime record of 99.99%.

Let's crunch some numbers because this is important. What's the difference between 99.99% and the more common 99.9% stated reference?

99.9% would be 0.1% downtime, which is 0.365 days / year = 8 hours!

What if those 8 hours falls on Black Friday? How much would that hurt? And what day is more likely to create issues than the day when many stores on the same server as you are running sales and getting heavy traffic?

There isn't a single point of hardware or connectivity redundancy - not a single point of failure - in our hosting environment that can bring down your store. The components and physical infrastructure we use are at the forefront of the industry. Doing it this way is expensive, but it's worth it.

Next time you see a competitor or hosting company offer unlimited or incredibly large disk space allowance, you can be pretty sure that your business-critical data isn't being stored on state-of-the-art SSD drives, probably isn't well mirrored, and likely has very limited backup services.

Beware of Entry Level Products

The trap of the low-end solution.

There are a number of simple low-end platforms that focus on ease: easy install, easy design, easy, easy, easy. But they achieve this at the cost of functionality and flexibility. They may do an acceptable job of building a store and delivering it, but success isn't just about the first sale. It's about the first one hundred, one thousand, one million sales, and how a store can support a sale from the moment the customer arrives at your site to long after the product has shipped.


Here are the biggest low-end platform pain points we hear from customers who move up to Miva Merchant:

  • One size does not fit all. No matter how much you think you understand what needs to be built, sales will quickly highlight areas that need to be tweaked, customized and improved. Guess who doesn't do that?
  • Order lifecycle limitations. Many people upgrade to Miva Merchant because they become victims of their own success. You want your entire order / billing / shipping process to run more smoothly, but the low-end platform either doesn't have the features to help you run a successful business or is unable to "talk to" any of the products that can help achieve that.
  • Bad at handling lots of data. The ability to have unlimited categories, unlimited products and unlimited product options may not seem important when you're just trying to find out if ecommerce is right for you. But once you're committed to ecommerce, a low-end platform's data limitations can completely short-circuit the growth of your business.

Likewise, here are some of the things that our customers tell us are most rewarding about Miva Merchant (as compared to low-end platforms they have grown out of):

  • The ability to grow with you. We tweak, change and customize our customers' experiences based on what we've learned, and our rich set of tools is at the ready for all customers at all account levels.
  • One step ahead. Our strong order management and advanced inventory management capabilities spring into action when the orders start to flow in, even before you know you need them.
  • Real customer support. We're talking genuine 24/7 phone support and the ability to talk to our U.S.-based team for advice and technical help.

The trap of doing it yourself

Giving a man a paintbrush does not an artist make.

If you were setting up a brick-and-mortar store, would you build your own sign, build the shelves yourself, and create all your own marketing materials? If you did, what do you expect the results would be like? (And a solid hats off to those of you who have done this).

Unless you're a web professional, or a skilled technology hobbyist, expect your customers to have the same reaction if you think you can build your own ecommerce store, too.

A fair assumption is that to get up and running with a Miva store and take it seriously, you will need an initial investment of at least $2,000 for a Miva professional's time, unless you have the skills yourself.

We understand we're being very blunt (compared to our competitors' marketing), but look more closely at their finely honed videos and screenshots.

Note, for example, the quality of the product photos in the "DIY" stores they use as examples and ask yourself if these are really the creations of the average non-technical business owner.

Then note how their marketing videos end at the point that the store is built, as if the ecommerce process stops there.

How people in your situation typically use Miva Merchant to their best advantage

Let's be very clear. Miva is an Enterprise-level ecommerce solution that has evolved over 15 years to satisfy the needs of every kind of online store, yet is available at a price point that makes it accessible to small businesses. If you are not a web professional, you are going to need help with your store.

To get started:

  • Call us. We have a directory of web professionals with Miva Merchant experience and there may be one near you. We also have a Professional Services team who can build your custom store.
  • If you already have a web professional in mind, then point them in our direction. We have training programs to help them hit the ground running and assist in the success of your project.

With the right people in place, the goals are then to:

  • Understand your needs
  • Build your store using the features you know you need
  • Go live, sell product, make money!
  • Track sales and customer habits, and get their feedback
  • Learn from mistakes and successes, and tweak as needed
  • See what other Miva Merchant features you can use to increase sales.
Find out more about
Miva Features
Miva Merchant Plans Start at
$79.95/mo.

  • Highlights:

  • One Miva Merchant License (valued at $19,995/year) and the best possible hosting account to run it on
    Side note: Why we host for you

  • 100% U.S.-based 24/7 phone support

  • The same astonishingly rich feature set as our Enterprise clients

  • Partnership with a company who has been building ecommerce software since 1997, and has been listed in the Inc. 5000 and San Diego Business Journal's Fastest Growing Companies for multiple years
    Miva History and Accolades

  • Technical Highlights:

  • Full LAMP stack hosting account and full control using Plesk with the industry's fastest SSD disk storage
    Read more: Detailed Hosting Specs

  • Everything but root access

  • Fully customizable CSS-based template system

  • Backups (including MySQL) that are actually worth having

  • Need Help?
  • Have Questions?
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Miva believes that all online businesses should have access to a scalable ecommerce platform that can meet their unique business requirements. Miva offers PCI compliant ecommerce, hosting, and custom website design and development solutions. Miva customers have processed over $100 billion in online sales since 1997.

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