Got a return request from a customer? Don’t panic! Not only are returns a very normal part of the eCommerce world (30% of all online orders are returned), but they actually provide you with a chance to sprinkle in some post-purchase delight.
The numbers don’t lie; 73% of shoppers say their experience with a brand’s returns process will affect their likelihood of buying from it in the future. That’s almost three of every four customers and certainly not a small number.
In order to drive repurchases and grow your customer base, it pays to invest in a returns platform that makes things easy on you, your customers, and your business partners. This includes systems that plug into your existing tech stack, including popular platforms like ReBOUND and AfterShip Returns Center.
But while it can be easy to get a skin-deep understanding of these platforms, making the right choice between ReBOUND and AfterShip Returns Center can be challenging without a closer inspection. Let’s examine the two returns platforms from all angles and weigh the costs, capabilities, and carriers of each.
ReBOUND vs. AfterShip Returns Center: What are the capabilities of each platform?
As you know, eCommerce returns are a delicate process. You need comprehensive, accessible, robust features that give you the best bang for your buck, providing plenty of room to grow as your business does. After all, the more you take charge of your RMAs, the better your customer experiences will be.
The features provided by your returns platform of choice will make or break your overall success. Using information from both ReBOUND and AfterShip Return Center websites, let’s take a look at what each platform brings to the table for businesses.
Comprehensive returns console
Managing returns can be costly—both in terms of time and money. Manually authorizing individual requests will be extremely time-consuming, while failing to accurately authorize certain returns may open the doors to unwanted return fraud. Thankfully, a modern returns platform can solve these problems fast.
AfterShip Returns Center and ReBOUND both allow you to view, approve, and track all return requests (past and present) in the same convenient dashboard.
AfterShip’s returns console offers a single-view portal with detailed information on products, requests, and resolution status. A large selection of status filters allows users to navigate through menus at a glance, quickly tracking items according to specific fields.
ReBOUND also offers a versatile returns dashboard, complete with real-time tracking updates. Features like customer vouchers come in handy for maintaining client satisfaction during the returns process.
ReBOUND does have access to some filtration options, but it doesn’t provide the many features that AfterShip does. What’s more, ReBOUND pushes returns reports to your email address rather than separate applications. If you’ve been considering a returns platform for your growing eCommerce business, ReBOUND may be a little lean on time-cost solutions.
Branded pages for returns
Customization is key in the world of eCommerce returns. A full 75% of customers want personalized digital experiences with the brands they shop from—including your returns process. For this reason, building a branded returns page that includes your colors, copy, and specific policies is important to the customer experience.
Both AfterShip Returns Center and ReBOUND offer access to branded returns pages and several customization options. Your clients just need their order numbers and email addresses to submit a return request or keep tabs on their approval status. A branded returns page may also have personalized recommendations that encourage revenue even post-purchase, as seen here:
ReBOUND’s branded pages share a lot of the same features as AfterShip’s. Users can build custom pages, set up pages to accept local currency, and plug into several carriers around the country. But when ReBOUND Returns is compared against AfterShip, it’s clear the latter still comes out on top due to the following:
- Gathering reasons and subreasons for item returns (to narrow down the problem)
- Resolving returns with multiple methods like offering credit
- Paper and paperless methods of returns
As of this writing, we could not identify if ReBOUND offers these branded page features.
Return shipment alerts
Your customers deserve to be kept in the know about returns with as little friction as possible. This warrants a platform that offers proactive updates of return status to reduce inquiries and drive customer loyalty.
AfterShip Returns Center lets you deliver timely return updates to your customers, keeping them from unnecessary worry and reducing WISMO requests. You can easily configure the system to send customized emails that indicate the return status. Plus, you can embed enticing marketing assets to encourage customers to buy again.
Both AfterShip Returns Center and ReBOUND offer great functionality for return notifications. However, ReBOUND only offers email notifications for returns and not SMS. These emails aren’t particularly customizable for individual brands, which limits your personal touch. You also can’t automatically schedule any messages according to customer timezone or location.
AfterShip offers more technical control and better customization options, making it arguably the better platform for sending return notifications.
International carrier options
The more carriers you have access to, the easier your returns process will be. And as we know, simpler returns make for happier customers, which leads to greater profits in the future.
Both AfterShip and ReBOUND focus heavily on carrier features for international brands. However, this is where the similarities end. ReBOUND unlocks access to roughly 220 global carriers around the world. AfterShip Returns Center provides access to 17 carriers, but purchasing an accompanying AfterShip plan will provide an additional 965 international carriers.
ReBOUND’s list of carriers is certainly nothing to scoff at, but it’s nowhere near as robust as AfterShip’s. If you’re planning to scale your business anytime soon, ReBOUND may keep you from growing as much as you’d like.
ReBOUND vs. AfterShip Returns Center: What sort of integrations are available?
Out-of-the-box features are well and good, but the best returns platforms provide third-party plugins that add more functionality to your daily workflows. In the case of AfterShip, there are 12 different platforms and plugins available for your tech stack, from massive eCommerce brands like Shopify to automation software like Gorgias. If you subscribe to the full AfterShip suite, you can connect to even more—up to 129, in fact.
While ReBOUND can integrate well with certain platforms, your options are extremely limited. You have the option to leverage APIs, FTBs, or platform connectors like Magento to connect your data. However, the list doesn’t get much bigger than that. This limitation may be difficult to manage if you’re not a technical developer or familiar with code.
Once again, AfterShip Returns Center proves to be more available and more efficient for return center integrations.
ReBOUND vs. AfterShip Returns Center: How much will you pay?
Money isn’t everything, but it’s worth knowing what you’ll be paying for returns before signing on the dotted line.
For AfterShip Returns Center, all prices and plan tiers are displayed openly on their website. There are four options to pick from:
- Free: 3 returns per month for $0
- Essentials: 20 returns per month for $9
- Pro: 1,000 returns per month for $199
- Enterprise: 3,000 and up returns per month for a personalized price
AfterShip Returns Center’s basic plan is free forever – meaning you’ll never have to upgrade or pay freemium prices to access the basics.
ReBOUND’s prices are also listed on the website – although making sense of them is a little difficult. Return volumes are measured per year rather than per month, and the standard amount and cost for each plan fluctuate according to your location.
If you need coverage in the UK:
- 6,000 or fewer returned parcels per year puts you on the Starter Plan (£250 per month)
- 49,859 or fewer returned parcels per year puts you on the Professional Plan (£495 per month)
- 50,000 or more returned parcels per year puts you on the Enterprise Plan (call for a quote)
If you process returns within the EU:
- 6,000 or fewer returned parcels per year puts you on the Professional Plan (there is no Starter Plan for this category)
- Anything higher than that will require an Enterprise Plan (call for details)
Note that if you process international returns, you will need to contact ReBOUND directly for a quote. This includes locations in the US or abroad. Also, none of these prices include shipping costs as per the website, which means you may pay more than just the stated monthly quote.
With its much higher price points, it’s clear that ReBOUND is geared more toward enterprise-level eCommerce brands. If you’re a smaller company, it will make more sense (and save more money) to go with AfterShip Returns Center.
AfterShip Returns Center steals the show
There’s no question that both ReBOUND and AfterShip Returns Center are helpful for eCommerce returns. They’re both incredibly flexible, very intuitive, and deeply customizable. But with AfterShip Return Center’s wide expanse of notification tools, out-of-the-box features, and countless plugins, it sets a benchmark that ReBOUND struggles to meet. With few integrations, sparse automations, and a significantly higher price point, ReBOUND may not be the best fit for up-and-coming eCommerce brands.
In contrast, AfterShip Returns Center helps businesses get plugged in and ready to go within minutes of signing up. Pricing plans are intuitively scalable and easy to understand, offering all the functions you need to handle returns with ease. Best of all, the platform’s intuitive dashboard offers a simple way to streamline returns.
Ready to see the AfterShip difference in action? Sign up for a seven-day free trial to start streamlining your returns today.