Migrating From Miva Merchant

Top 5 reasons to migrate off of Miva.

Websites on Miva Merchant are at a serious performance disadvantage compared to those on more robust, dedicated eCommerce platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce.
Websites on Miva Merchant are at a serious performance disadvantage compared to those on more robust, dedicated eCommerce platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce.

Miva Merchant is a popular choice for eCommerce novices and independent businesses because of its simple point-and-click development and store management system. Miva users are able to create online stores directly through their web browser while advanced developers can take advantage of its flexible architecture and CSS template-based system to further modify the look, feel, and functionality of their websites.

But while the Miva Merchant platform is a decent enough eCommerce entryway for small and medium businesses, all too-often these users outgrow Miva’s capabilities and require a stronger, more powerful, and more capable solution that will satisfy their expanded business needs and promote continued growth. If your website is on Miva Merchant and you’ve been thinking about migrating over to another platform but aren’t 100% committed yet, here are 5 good reasons why you need to migrate your website off of Miva Merchant.

Revenue-Based Pricing Only

Let’s get the biggest one out of the way first: pricing. Initial pricing is frequently the main reason why some businesses opt or reject certain eCommerce platforms, despite the potential performance advantages, sales/conversion advantages, and long-term cost savings of the service in-question. Most of the major SaaS eCommerce platforms offer users a rudimentary tiered pricing schedule and free test periods for new prospects but Miva Merchant has none of these available. The Miva Website advertises attractive user statistics such as increases in order value and desktop and mobile AOV, but notice there’s nothing that explicitly states their pricing. That’s because Miva prices are based on your company’s revenue. If your company earns more, expect to pay more. This type of pricing is usually reserved for elite enterprise-level subscriptions from other companies such as Shopify and BigCommerce but for Miva, all users are subject. This might not be that big of a deal for a major corporate entity doing hundreds of millions a year–or even a high-ticket, high-volume seller with consistent growth, but the majority of Miva’s users are small and medium businesses. Miva’s revenue-based pricing is often cited as one of its major drawbacks and is widely considered to be considerably more expensive than its actual worth and usefulness..

Poor Customer Support

Unlike the 1.7 million+ Shopify users in the United States, Miva Merchant has only 789 US-based stores on their platform. This accounts for less than 0.1% of the marketplace. Because Miva’s user base is so limited, finding dedicated Miva developers or support staff can be extremely difficult. As it is an unfamiliar system in the US eCommerce marketplace, it’ll be an uncommon system for developers and software writers. Miva is, however, a SaaS platform and does have its own support team and online resource library to aid users, but some users have noted Miva’s poor response times and less-than-favorable public interactions. This is exceptionally important to consider as the Miva Merchant platform is also known to not be all that accommodating to popular integrations such as Google Shopping, social media feeds, and does not include the typical functionalities (coupons, gift certificates, sale prices, etc.) that would be automatically included as standard with other competing platforms. While Miva’s architecture does allow for advanced code modification and customization, implementation and execution can be more difficult and time-consuming than on other more widely-used platforms.

Antiquated User Interface

Miva Merchant is one of the oldest eCommerce platforms still in service today. Launched in 1996, it was launched at the right time to take advantage of the burgeoning eCommerce industry but before the disastrous Dot Com Boom of the early 2000s. Miva’s user interface is noted as being simple and uncomplicated. However, a common complaint among users is that while the system itself is not all that difficult to use, the layout looks extraordinarily dated and has been functionally left in the dust by most of its more modern competitors. Miva Merchant does regularly update their systems, but the user interface still retains its mid-1990s layout which, for users who are more accustomed to contemporary admin sections and user interfaces, can be off-putting and unintuitive. Miva is also noted for not having a standards-compliant theme engine, which further complicates the learning curve for experienced developers for today’s systems.

Difficult to Implement Add-Ons and 3rd Party Integrations

Add-ons and 3rd party integrations greatly expand upon the base feature set of an eCommerce platform. Some platforms greatly depend on add-ons, apps, and integrations as their stock configurations are bare-bones while others (such as BigCommerce) come prepackaged with a wide variety of functions as standard. Miva Merchant falls within the former of the two categories. Miva’s out-of-the-box feature set is, at best, extremely basic and while that can help ease new users into getting accustomed to operating an online web store without being inundated, certain notable features are missing from Miva that actually do come standard with some of its competitors. Of course, the solution to this problem would be to reinstate them by way of apps, add-ons, and integrations. Unfortunately, Miva Merchant, despite advertising itself as a flexible and customizable eCommerce platform, uses a very old and outdated architecture that makes integration implementation difficult for even experienced veteran developers. Plus, with Miva’s significantly reduced user base, such experienced veteran developers are few and far between. This ties in with the aforementioned section on customer support; less users means less people who are familiar with the software that are capable of providing adequate service, be it repair and maintenance to full-on customization.

Unresponsive Design, Not Mobile-Friendly

Responsive design is a web design practice that automatically adjusts layouts and window sizes according to the device(s) on which a website is displayed. This is why one website may display somewhat differently if viewed on a tablet or mobile phone versus a desktop computer. Because more than 50% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices (SOURCE: Google), it’s absolutely imperative that a website be cleanly and clearly visible on a mobile device. A major handicap of Miva Merchant is that in its most basic form, Miva does not support responsive web design as standard and that in order to have a responsive Miva-based website, it’ll necessitate an extra upcharge of $700 or modifications to the code that will allow for responsive web design (keep in mind that Miva doesn’t take as easily to add-ons and integrations like some other eCommerce solutions on the market). Mobile-friendliness goes hand-in-hand with accessibility as much as it does with SEO; users who cannot view your website as intended won’t have any further motivation to explore it and mobile-unfriendly websites don’t rank well with SEO, effectively cutting off your potential new user/customer base and severely stunting the potential for increased revenue and business growth.

Additional Mobile Statistics

  • 63% of smartphone users are more likely to purchase from companies whose mobile sites or apps offer them relevant recommendations on products they may be interested in.
  • 51% of smartphone users are more likely to use a company or brand’s mobile app when browsing or shopping on a smartphone because they can get rewards or points.
  • 50% of smartphone users are more likely to use a company or brand’s mobile site when browsing or shopping on a smartphone because they don’t want to download an app.
  • 30% of smartphone users are more likely to use a company or brand’s mobile site when browsing or shopping on a smartphone when making a one-time purchase.
  • 58% of smartphone users feel more favorable toward companies whose mobile sites or apps remember who they are and their past behavior.
  • 60% of smartphone users have contacted a business directly using the search results (e.g., “click to call” option).

(SOURCE: Google)

Miva Merchant to Shopify Migration/Miva Merchant to BigCommerce

Miva Merchant does have its following with small and medium-sized businesses, but that’s all the platform seems to cater towards. It may be a good place to start for new businesses to get their feet wet, but those with a desire for success and continued growth need to look elsewhere. Miva is totally inadequate to handle large-volume retailers, growing businesses, and full-scale enterprise level operations. According to statistics from BuiltWith, Miva consistently loses customers to Shopify and BigCommerce–and for good reason. Shopify is the #1 US market share leader in eCommerce software and the most widely-used platform in the US while BigCommerce is one of the most comprehensive eCommerce platforms available with the most available features as standard and a competitive structured pricing plan that suits businesses of any size.

Advantages of Shopify and BigCommerce VS Miva

  • Easy to use
  • Wide list of standard features
  • Secure: Level 1 PCI DSS compliant
  • Fully-customizable
  • Mobile-friendly
  • Optimized for SEO
  • Integration with industry-leading business systems and apps
  • 24/7 support
  • Automatic updates
  • Multi-tier pricing plans
  • Available for desktop and mobile
  • Designed for businesses of all sizes
  • Unrestricted growth and earnings potential

Diztinct’s Website Migration Services

At Diztinct, we are eCommerce experts with over 15 years of experience in custom website design, development, and engineering as well as website migration services. We have the technical know-how and expertise to protect your website’s critical internal information, SEO standings, and keyword rankings. Plus, we’re proud to have the distinct honor of being official design partners with Shopify AND BigCommerce. When you hire Diztinct to handle your website migration project, you have the support of an officially certified expert, regardless of which of the two platforms you choose. We address every aspect of the website migration process:

  • Basic data transfer
  • Product and inventory management
  • Page titles and metadata migration
  • SEO data retention and optimization
  • Link preservation
  • Category page migration
  • Policy and other informational page transfer
  • Redirects

We have the tools, the talent, and the support of Shopify and BigCommerce to ensure that all of your website’s important data remains protected and your current SEO rankings are maintained, if not improved, during the process.

Are you ready to give your website and your business the Diztinct advantage over the competition? If so, let’s talk. Get in touch with us today and get ready to make your website work for you.

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