Shopify has acquired another app for its ever-expanding portfolio.

On Tuesday, the Ottawa-based ecommerce darling announced that it had acquired the Montreal-based developers behind Return Magic, an ecommerce return solution for Shopify that also happens to be the platform’s number one app, with nearly 2500 customers.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but Shopify general manager of shipping Louis Kearns told ITBusiness.ca that four members of the Return Magic team, including co-founder and CEO-turned-Shopify product lead Guillaume Racine and co-founder and CTO-turned-senior engineering lead Raff Paquin, would be joining Shopify’s Montreal team next month, and “continue to expand on the technology they have been building since founding [Return Magic] in November 2016.”

“Merchants trust Shopify to equip them with the tools required to offer the best experience to their customers,” Kearns said. “The Return Magic team has enabled thousands of merchants to take control of their post-sale strategy. This acquisition is another step we’re taking to help our merchants own their time by spending it on the things that matter most to their business, while Shopify works on handling the rest.”

He also noted that Return Magic will continue to be available in the Shopify App Store.

Return Magic co-founders and CTO-turned-senior engineering lead Raff Paquin (left) and CEO-turned-Shopify product lead Guillaume Racine (right). Image courtesy Shopify.

From retail to returns

Return Magic’s roots were planted in its founders’ previous positions: CTO Paquin was head of technology at ecommerce-driven clothing designer Frank + Oak between 2011 and 2014 and director of data science at Lightspeed POS from 2015 to 2016, while CEO Racine was previously a senior manager at Amazon. Between them, they had a complementary track record in online retail that taught them plenty of lessons about becoming leaders in the field, but also about the headaches that came with it.

“Having worked as retailers, we both had a separate moment when we realized how painful returns were to merchants and buyers,” Racine told ITBusiness.ca. “We saw how underserved this touchpoint was in terms of effective tools and solutions for merchants. We set out to build the product we wanted for ourselves.”

Shopify’s Kearns agrees: “Returns are an essential step in the online buyer’s journey, yet most merchants today aren’t well equipped to handle them efficiently in a way that leaves their buyers satisfied,” he says. “Return Magic brings simple yet powerful return and exchange capabilities to Shopify stores, helping them sell more, and creating more loyal buyers won over by the end-to-end commerce experience.”

According to Racine, Return Magic supports buyers and merchants in three key ways:

  1. By enhancing the buyer experience: With online buyers expecting an ever-more-convenient online shopping experience, whether it’s wider selection or faster shipping, free and easy returns have also become a given. “We believe that the post-purchase shopping experience (of which returns are a part of) is increasingly becoming a differentiation factor for shoppers to decide to convert and become loyal customers over time,” Racine says, pointing ITBusiness.ca readers to an infographic published by Return Magic that reveals, among other things, that more than 80 per cent of customers read an online retailer’s return policy before making a purchase, and more than 70 per cent say they’re more likely to return to merchants that make the return experience simple.
  2. By helping merchants save time: By automating several core, repetitive tasks such as issuing a refund or gift card, sending a return label, or providing email notifications, Return Magic helps retailers both streamline the return process and increase its effectiveness.
  3. By making it easy for retailers to set up a return system: Retailers have different needs when it comes to returns, and Return Magic aims to address as many of them as possible, including payments, inventory management, fulfilment, shipping, customer service, and user experience. “We allow merchants to combine it all in a seamless way for the buyer, while providing them with the flexibility they want to handle returns that works best for them,” Racine says. And like the core Shopify playform, Return Magic’s interface can be personalized to reflect the business using it.

“It takes very little time and effort for merchants to set up Return Magic and integrate with carriers,” Racine says.

And with the Shopify acquisition, it’s about to get even easier.

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