Ah, the beauty of a sunset. You’re at the beach and digging your toes into powdered-sugar sand. The sound of soft waves envelops you as you watch the sun setting over the horizon . . .
BZZZZ! WRONG! [Insert sound of loud “wrong-answer” buzzer here.]
Not all sunsettings are like this. If you are a user of the Return Magic app for merchandise returns, the announcement in early February 2022, of the “sunsetting” of the app on July 6th of this year is NOT like a romantic sunset at a beach. Far from it.
Maybe you received a message about this or saw the news in your feed or on ReturnMagic.com’s support page. However you heard about it (and, if you are a user we hope this is not the first time you’ve heard about this), now is the time to look for alternatives and get one up and running well before July 6, 2022.
We’re here to pass along a shortlist of very good candidates for you to review.
BTW, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised at this sunsetting. When Shopify acquired Return Magic back in June of 2018 maybe we should have started considering alternatives right then.
Not to besmirch Shopify’s acquisition strategies, but they have shown a tendency to acquire solid apps, eventually switching them off and then, presto, change-o, and voila, the functionality of the closed app becomes part and parcel of the Shopify platform.
Well, maybe not quite at a magician’s presto-change-o pace. It probably won’t be as fast as the expression of easy-peasy the Brits use, it won’t be “Bob’s your uncle” and voila!
So, given that pattern, let’s get down to business. Every recommend we make here is being used by our various clients and we can vouch for the utility and value they deliver. With that said, we are e-commerce developers and consultants and have not run a multi-million dollar online store. Well, actually, maybe a couple of us have.
Our Fabulous Four (in alphabetical order)
Happy Returns happyreturns.com
Pricing: starts at $350/month for 500 packages or fewer
Founded in Los Angeles in 2015, Happy Returns might be considered the big gorilla on the block now that it has joined forces with Paypal (in 2021). It’s value proposition is simple–and powerful.
They have more than 3,800 “Return Bars” (FedEx stores and many others) where a consumer can bring their items and get a label-free, box-free return “experience.”
If you have ever stood in line at a store or post office, you know that this experience will be way better for your buyers. Happy Returns refers to themselves as a “reverse logistics” company and they have some secret sauce you should check out that makes that phrase more than just tech-speak.
The kicker is they also are focused on sustainability. They don’t rebox the returns and just “shift” the cardboard from your house to the Return Bar. They use reusable totes reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 120k lbs. for every one million returns.
LOOP Returns loopreturns.com
Pricing: from $59/month
This app for Shopify and Shopify plus stores takes a unique approach to returns. The app helps merchants with, a phrase we have come to love, the retention of customers “through one of the most fragile interactions they’ll have with your brand: online returns.”
Think about it. Consumers are still a little bit skitchy (skittish and sketchy combined) about buying online. And the idea of having to return something can give some shoppers agita. The LOOP Returns app helps merchants create a portal that both merchants and buyers immediately see the value in.
Your customized return portal, open 24/7/365, guides consumers through a nicey-nice return experience and rather than having them return that too-small small green sweater it will offer exchangers the ability to select a different size and color, thus keeping the return as revenue..
You can even set rules that will trigger the shipping of the replacement triggered by the return package movements. Based on rules and policies you set, you can have returns at certain price levels automatically approved while routing more expensive items for manual inspection.
LOOP Returns has lots of other bells and whistles, from adjustable handling fees to an advanced reporting suite. You should check them out. [If you have gotten this far maybe we should let you know that Text Connects receives zero affiliate fees, no free products, and no other compensation for these product reviews. However, if you want to send us a dozen cupcakes, we will not object.]
Narvar Return & Exchange corp.narvar.com/return-exchange
Pricing: free to install, customized pricing
Despite a somewhat obscure name, Narvar is a “player” in this niche. Started in 2012 the credentials of the founder, Amit Sharma, might pique your interest.
Before starting Narvar he racked up nearly 20 years in business operations at some “small potato” companies like Apple, Walmart, and Williams-Sonoma. Often he was in the thick of it shaping supply chain innovations for these companies.
You gotta love the way they refer to the company as a “post-purchase customer experience platform.” That’s quite a few “Ps,” but the alliteration has earned them 1,100 clients, big and small, across the e-commerce landscape.
Another “reverse logistics” SaaS operation, Narvar supports easy drop-off at 200,000 locations. That not enough for you? They will also pick up at your customers’ homes and keep the whole transaction simple with “no boxes, no labels, no hassles.”
What does Narvar mean? One source suggests it’s Swedish for “when” and “where.” Please write to us if you are fluent in Swedish and can confirm this. Tack så mycket!
Returnly — Sunsetting October 2023
Returnly will be sunsetting operations in October 2023. Below is our original writeup on Returnly
Like the competition, Returnly delivers to its clients a fully-branded and customizable returns center integrated into your online store. It claims to be the only returns solution “that lets customers get the right item before returning the wrong one.”
An ingredient in their secret sauce is Returnly Credit. Merchants get paid on repurchases up-front and in full while customers get instant credit. If the customer doesn’t send back the original order or it just plain gets lost, Returnly takes the loss and you get to book two sales!
We intend to take this up with the United States Postal Service and other carriers. Returnly should be their poster child for the faith this company is placing in them.
Green Returns is another ingredient in Returnly’s success. Utilizing data science and machine learning, the system makes real-time decisions when an item cannot be resold. Customers and businesses win—and so does the planet!
Another example of faith in people and processes that we like.
So, there you have it, our Fabulous Four. We hope this post helps guide you to a great replacement for Return Magic and teaches you some Swedish. As we like to say around the warehouses we visit, Many Happy Returns!