1. The Miva Merchant Admin Home Page
That was what I thought when I first saw Miva Merchant 9’s new admin interface. It’s so simple and uncluttered. Links to frequently accessed areas of the admin are right there, right on the first page. So are some statistics, such as Best Sellers and Recent Sales.
2. The Admin Menu
Then panic started to set in.
“Oh. It’s now a clickable ‘on-demand’ drop-down menu.”
Then I realized how slick that was, to only show the menu when you needed it. That’s one reason why the new admin is so clean and open.
The new admin menu is also more organized. The section at the top is for frequently accessed areas of the Miva admin, such as Catalog (categories & products), Customers, Marketing (discounts, sales, etc.), and Order Processing.
3. The Catalog (categories & products)
Next, I jumped into the Catalog. In previous versions of Miva Merchant, ‘Categories’ and ‘Products’ were in the admin menu. Now, they are grouped into this ‘Catalog’ section, which helps clean-up the menu. Once in the Catalog section, I see all the products, and at the top is where I can go to Categories, Attribute Templates, and Inventory. As I mouse-over products, an icon appears to the left of each product. The icon gives me the impression that if I click on it, I will be taken to a new page with additional information (Well done, Miva designers! As a graphic designer myself, I appreciate icons that imply a thought or action, and follow-through on that thought or action). Sure enough, upon clicking on that little icon, I’m taken to that product so I can edit it.
Ok. Back to the Catalog.
I noticed two things when I clicked on a product on the Catalog page – (1) the Open icon, or button, changed to a different icon – a checkmark , and (2) additional links appeared at the top. Out of curiosity, I wondered if I could select more than one product at a time, so clicked the top product and dragged my mouse down. Sure enough, I could select more than one product. Then a little pencil icon appeared at the top, as if to imply I could edit all the products I selected, so I clicked on it. Then I fell over in my chair! I could edit several products at once. On one page, I could quickly change the price, inventory level, description, etc. I was amazed! “Thank you, Miva!”
I feel the Marketing section in the new Miva Merchant 9 is huge. Finally, Miva Merchant comes with built-in discounts and sales (Price Groups), such as Volume Pricing, Buy X Get Y, Product and Shipping Discounts, and Coupons. You can target all customers, only customers that are logged-in, or specific customers. You can select qualifying products and discounted products. You can specify a date range if the sale is to start and/or end at a particular day and time.
Bookmarks is one of those nice little features that makes your job a bit easier. It’s a drop-down menu that you can customize. For example, as a Miva Merchant designer, I spend a lot of time in the User Interface section of the admin. More specifically, editing Pages in the User Interface section. To get the Category Page Template, for example, it takes a few clicks. Well, with Bookmarks, now I can quickly get to the Category Page Template with 1 click! How cool is that?!?!
Here’s another nice touch. How many times have you wandered around any admin and thought “Where’s the, the thing? The tax, thing.” Just type it into the search field at the top and Miva Merchant will show you.
Need to get your store up and running quickly? Miva’s new ReadyThemes are awesome and free! There are currently 4 to choose from, ranging from one a designer might use that’s basically blank, to a ReadyTheme that’s fully designed with lots of features.
I’m recording my own Miva Merchant 9 videos on YouTube so you can see all the cool new features.
It’s obvious the designers at Miva, Inc. put a lot of thought towards version 9, and I really appreciate it. I hear more great features are coming in the next update, probably in the next month or two. I look forward to them!