MivaCon 2013: How to be Extraordinary

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By Miva | March 19, 2013



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We are thrilled to say that this year’s conference was the best one yet!  We had top-notch keynotes, content-driven breakout sessions on crucial Ecommerce topics, plenty of networking opportunities, and the debut of The Blades Ecommerce Awards, all with a focus on taking attendees’ businesses into the realm of “Extraordinary Ecommerce.”  At MivaCon, business owners, developers, and marketers came together at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla hotel in San Diego, California, on March 6-8th, to network with the best in the industry, preview the latest technology solutions, and learn more about engaging their market.  If you attended MivaCon 2013, then this blog post will be a great refresher or maybe you’ll see something new, and if you couldn’t make it, then this will be a great snapshot of just some of the amazing stuff you missed.

Fireside Chats with the Nominees

The best part about using Miva Merchant is being able to customize as you grow.”

Let’s start out where the excitement all began! Wednesday night we had a welcome mixer where we had an insightful fireside talk with one of the nominees for the Blades Ecommerce Awards: Peter Cordes, the Founder of Pomades, Royal Shave, and The Stache.  Peter said, “The best part about using Miva Merchant is being able to customize as you grow. For example, [the way I was] able to integrate with RoyalShave and TheStache is something that no other Ecommerce platform can beat. PCI Compliance is also vital for a shopping cart, and it speaks loudly for Miva. Whereas other shopping carts, such as Volusion, don’t offer you the same security. Miva Merchant also offers a Mail Order Management System that allows us to integrate sub-attributes and variations exactly how they should be- the right display, inventory, system, and SKU. Everything needs to work perfectly, and that’s why we love using Miva Merchant for our stores.”

We Learned How To “Be Less Boring” and that “Your Baby is Ugly”

We had great Thursday morning keynotes, filled with valuable and useful information from Rick Wilson “The State of the Miva Nation,” Hal Lublin “Be Less Boring,” Tim Ash “A Customer Odyssey- Wandering in the E-commerce Wastelands,” and Paul Bruemmer “SEO Success That’s Built to Last.”

Rick Wilson shared Miva Merchant’s accomplishments over the last year and shared some great new features and updates about our successful future in his “The State of the Miva Nation” keynote speech. After Rick spoke, Hal Lublin taught everyone how to “Be Less Boring” at his keynote address, stating that “personality comes from the people behind the brand.”

It only takes 50 milliseconds for a website to make a visual impression on us.”

Attendees learned from some of the most accomplished individuals in SEO, CRO, and social media marketing, as speakers Tim Ash and Paul Bruemmer talked about what it takes to excel in the craft of Ecommerce.  Tim Ash, CEO of SiteTuners, keynoted and led a couple of breakout sessions called, “Your Baby is Ugly Conversion Lab.” He entertained everyone at his keynote, sharing that 95% of our daily decision are pre-conscious.  He also made some strong statements that stuck with everyone, such as “Rotating Banner Ads are the root of all evil in the western world.”  Attendees also learned from Tim Ash that “it only takes 50 milliseconds for a website to make a visual impression on us” and that “product categories need to be mutually exclusive to be effective.”  In Tim’s breakout session, attendees learned to remove the ‘add a promo code’ box from their checkouts because it takes customers off your site at the sale.  Matt McGee was scheduled for a keynote at MivaCon 2013, but unfortunately he was unable to attend.  However, Paul Bruemmer, columnist at SearchEngineLand stepped in for an incredible keynote and wowed the audience with his insights on SEO. ““Start with an SEO Audit to make sure your due diligence is done, then move on to items.” Paul Bruemmer in his keynote speech on what it truly takes to be successful in SEO today. “Search engines hate 302 Redirects. Use 301s instead.”

A Mobster at the Blades Ecommerce Awards

At the debut of The Blades Ecommerce Awards, Miva Merchant hosted an inaugural awards banquet honoring Miva Merchant store owners who have achieved excellence in Ecommerce.  There were 5 categories and 5 nominees for each category that showcased truly remarkable ecommerce stores, and Bill Weiland, founder of Emporium Plus, received the Miva Merchant Lifetime Achievement Award for being the largest developer of plug-in modules for Miva Merchant’s shopping cart system.

A surprise guest speaker opened for The Blades Awards Dinner.  Michael Franzese, was a former Colombo family crime boss who turned his life around.  He gave us a preview of what he will be speaking on next year at MivaCon 2014.  Even in just 15 minutes of his story on “Quitting the Mob,” everyone at the awards ceremony was floored and won over with his uplifting story.

The long awaited reveal of The Blades Ecommerce Awards Winners was showcased in a video production format, revealing all of the nominees with associated categories.  Philip Hansen was our host for the evening, as he revealed each winner and presented them with their Blades trophy on stage.  The winners are revealed to the public on our conference page and blog.  All of the nominated stores have demonstrated Ecommerce in incredible ways, and we are proud to be a part of their success stories.

Be Consistently Awesome

Neil Patel, co-founder of Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics, began Friday, March 8th, with a forward-thinking keynote by sharing tips on his favorite form of real estate: online websites.  He taught us that making millions of dollars on the web has a lot less capital requirements compared to other forms of investment, and the formula for success is surprisingly simple. Neil shared that Twitter brings KISSmetrics over 20k unique visitors per month with a $0 marketing budget.

1 second delay in page load reduces conversions by 7%.”

Eric Weaver, SVP Social Strategy for IPG Mediabrands, took the stage at MivaCon 2013 with a keynote on the Social Shopper.  For those questioning if mobile really is that important for ecommerce, Eric Weaver clarified it by letting us know that “60% of shoppers will leave your site if you are not mobile friendly.” Eric Weaver also demonstrated how social has nailed Jack in the Box, AT&T, and Comcast. Then, he taught the solutions to the problem by exemplifying Pinterest and YouTube.  His hot E-commerce tips will increase store owners’ bottom line.  “1 second delay in page load reduces conversions by 7%,” stated Eric Weaver.  We recommend using one of our MivaCon 2013 sponsors, Yottaa, to speed up your site.

Everyone attending was given the gift of simple and effective ecommerce tips from the pros, including the following keys to success:

    • If you’re in Ecommerce and not making money from your emails, then something is off in your business.
  • The secret to blogging success is to be consistently awesome.
  • It’s not about quantity of traffic, it’s about quality. If your visitors don’t convert, it’s not worth it.
  • You should constantly be going through this cycle with your website: Build, Measure, Learn.
  • Simplicity is the key to success for all Ecommerce sites.
  • Feel-Do-Think. 95% of decisions are emotion-driven, and rational thinking is rare.  So, focus [your marketing] on emotional processing.
  • Leverage customer voices, remove mobile and page load issues, go big with visuals, be brief and respond quickly.

Larry Osborne keynoted on Friday about the Six Pitfalls of Growth and taught everyone that “you can’t focus on the future, to the point that you presume upon the past.” Larry also said, “People aren’t trying to deceive you, they are just using a different dictionary.”

To conclude an incredible day learning the ins and outs of Extraordinary Ecommerce, Rick Wilson (COO), David Hubbard (CIO), and Jon Burchmore (CTO)  gave the “Roadmap” of features to expect from Miva Merchant in 2013/2014.  These will be revealed to our customers as the features roll out, but let’s just say that there is very exciting news for developers and store owners in the coming year!

The Aftershock

“I had a great time at the Miva conference.  I met a lot of interesting people with fantastic ideas.  I can’t wait to go back next year!” –Asim Khan, CEO of Event Blossom

“What a wonderful 3 days of MivaCon 2013!  We met some really amazing people.” –CatAttack

“MivaCon 2013 was fantastic! The Miva Merchant crew did a great job! Thanks!!” –Leslie Kirk

“Our thanks to the Miva team and attendees for a great conference! Stay classy San Diego!” –Hector Feliz, DydaComp

“What a great time we had with our partner Miva Merchant at MivaCon 2013.  If you need an eCommerce platform, contact Miva Merchant for more info.” – Morris Porter, Yottaa

“We hope everyone had a great time at MivaCon 2013… We sure did! Thanks for stopping by our booth and chatting with Monsoon Commerce” –Monsoon Commerce

“Mivacon 2013 was awesome once again, can’t wait till next year!” –Jeremy Kocourek

“Thanks for letting me keynote at MivaCon 2013 – great event!” –Tim Ash, President & CEO of SiteTuners

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Author's Bio


Miva offers a flexible and adaptable ecommerce platform that evolves with businesses and allows them to drive sales, maximize average order value, cut overhead costs, and increase revenue. Miva has been helping businesses realize their ecommerce potential for over 20 years and empowering retail, wholesale, and direct-to-consumer sellers across all industries to transform their business through ecommerce.

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