Return Magic Will Shut Down July 6: The Potential Impact + Alternative

Best Alternative to Return Magic
Best Alternative to Return Magic

As an online merchant, you know the importance of creating a great returns experience. But if you’re using Return Magic to streamline your eCommerce return processes, it’s time to look for an alternative.

Here’s why: Return Magic is closing down on July 6th, 2022.

Per its website, the Admin and service will no longer be accessible or function for users when Return Magic is sunset. The company also said it understands that this change may impact your return workflows and your business, which is why it recommends you move to a new returns solution before the stated date to prevent disruptions to your business.

Fortunately, there’s a solid Return Magic Shopify alternative available.

AfterShip Returns (our returns management solution) can help you track all your packages in one place, notify customers about delivery updates, and auto-import your order information from your Shopify store to your user account.

But does it provide more or less value than Return Magic? What about the price?

In this post, we’ll take a detailed look at Return Magic vs. AfterShip to help you understand how your returns management experience will change when you transition to the latter platform. But first, let’s go over some Return Magic history.

Return Magic Short History

2016 – Return Magic is Founded

Developed in Montreal by entrepreneurs Guillaume Racine and Raff Paquin, Return Magic was introduced in 2017 as a Shopify returns solution merchants could use to improve their post-purchase customer experience. A year later, it was servicing more than 2,500 merchants and became one of Shopify’s best-ranked returns solutions. The platform lets users auto-generate refunds, emails, and labels in multiple languages, as well as create smart rules to automate their RMA processes.

2018 – Return Magic Acquired by Shopify

As part of the drive to strengthen its post-sale ecosystem, Shopify acquired Return Magic in 2018. The move led to greater adoption of the returns software, as Shopify merchants believed the acquisition would further simplify platform setup and integration. Additionally, all members of the Return Magic team, including the two co-founders, joined Shopify’s Montreal team post-acquisition.

2022 – Return Magic Sunsetted by Shopify

Earlier this year, Return Magic announced its service would shut down on July 6th, 2022. We don’t know what caused Shopify to sunset the platform, but one of the possible reasons might be the existence of better returns solutions that integrate with their eCommerce platform.

AfterShip vs. Return Magic: Feature Comparison

Returns Magic has many features to help merchants process returns more quickly and efficiently. Retailers can use it to auto-generate shipping labels, create simple workflows, and automate gift card and cash returns. While you won’t be able to access these functions after July 6th, you can get a lot more and better features by transitioning to AfterShip Returns.

Here's a closer look at how Return Magic fares against AfterShip Returns:

Returns portal

A returns portal empowers customers to initiate the return process without needing support from a merchant’s customer support team. For merchants, the portal collects relevant order information and enforces returns per their store policy.

AfterShip’s return portal allows you to keep track of all your returns in one place. It’s equipped with a smart filter and search option to help you categorize RMA requests by the status, carrier, customer email, or return method. Well-defined return statuses help you process return requests and reduce WISMR calls faster.

AfterShip return management portal
AfterShip return management portal

Plus, AfterShip Returns lets you recover losses from your returned inventory by automatically restocking it on Shopify and making it available for sale. Auto-mark returned items as received and restocked with automation rules to manage your inventory better and improve sales. If you’re concerned about return fraud with high-value items, you can switch to manual approvals to inspect suspicious requests and reject returns easily.

Return Magic also offers a returns portal, but it’s not as powerful as AfterShip’s. There’s no search and filter tool to help you identify specific requests. Plus, automations can take a while to set up and configure.

Return notifications

Customers want to stay informed about the status of their returned packages. Giving them proactive updates can help reduce support inquiries and drive customer loyalty.

Both AfterShip Returns and Return Magic let you send out return notifications, with AfterShip offering extra features such as:

  • Return status alerts for support and inventory management teams
  • Customer timezone-based SMS scheduling
  • Multilingual SMS and email alerts
  • Custom-branded updates without AfterShip’s logo
AfterShip return notifications
AfterShip return notifications

Magic Return users should note they can share return statuses only via email, not SMS, whereas AfterShip users can send out alerts via email, SMS, and Facebook Messenger.

Refunds and exchanges

Customer-centric and seamless exchange options drive sales, customer satisfaction, and brand loyalty. Unfortunately, not every return management software is designed to maximize your profits with flexible exchange options.

Return Magic doesn’t have an automated exchange process built into its platform. This means you’ll need to manage any new order and refund request manually, rather than letting customers automatically select available product variants for exchange, or choose any item in your catalog at the value of their return order. With little incentive for customers to opt for an exchange, you’re far less likely to recover lost revenue with additional sales.

AfterShip Returns, in contrast, allows customers to exchange their returns for any item or variant on your store. You can also reward customers who opt to exchange instead of return with bonus credits. Moreover, those using Shopify can refund and issue gift cards automatically to encourage repurchase and boost customer loyalty. Overall, the platform lets you provide a return experience that feels like shopping.

AfterShip refund and exchanges
AfterShip refund and exchanges

Return Magic Shopify vs. AfterShip Returns: Integrations

As a Shopify merchant, you likely use multiple eCommerce solutions to power your business. As such, it’s important to choose a returns management platform that integrates well with your existing systems and apps.

Return Magic integrates with a variety of third-party shipping platforms, but it doesn’t offer direct integration for any carrier. This means users must generate labels via a third-party app, which adds unnecessary bloat to their tech stack. Plus, if you want to quickly view your customer return requests from inside another platform, you’ll need to manually transport your data since Return Magic doesn’t support direct integrations with technology partners.

AfterShip Returns, in contrast, integrates with a variety of solutions, including Zendesk, Gorgias, NetSuite, and Shoplazza, just to name a few. Plus, you can use it to manage returns on many other platforms besides Shopify. And for those who implement the complete suite of AfterShip (i.e., returns management + shipment tracking + shipping API), you get the option to integrate your tech stack with over 129 tools and platforms.

So if you regularly use different platforms and want a bird’s eye view of your returns data, AfterShip is the best choice.

Return Magic pricing vs. AfterShip Returns pricing

Affordability goes a long way when it comes to using returns management software. After all, returns are the new normal and typically need to be processed monthly.

Return Magic charges a base fee of $10 per month, with subscription plans assigned automatically based on merchants’ volume tier. Basically, the company charges you according to the number of returns you request within the billing period. But regardless of your monthly returns volume, the base fee needs to be paid on all plans.

With AfterShip Returns, you get a free plan that lets you process three returns per month. Each subsequent plan is a little more involved, but there’s no base fee like in the case of Return Magic. Our first paid plan—Essentials—costs $9 for processing up to 20 returns per month. Pro and Enterprise plans cost more, but they’re designed for large-scale businesses receiving thousands of RMA requests every month.

Supercharge Your Customer’s Return Experience with AfterShip

After assessing Return Magic vs. AfterShip Returns from all angles, it’s clear that AfterShip Returns is the superior choice for automating and optimizing your returns management. It’s fast, affordable, and just plain easier to use. Not to mention, it’s totally free for three returns per month.

You also get 24/7 customer support with AfterShip, so you’ll have peace of mind knowing help is just a few clicks away in case you get stuck at any stage. Want to try it out for yourself? Go ahead—sign up with AfterShip Returns for free.