SmartEtailing Blog

Removing Model Years to Improve Shopping Experience

By Ryan Atkinson

The cycling industry is rapidly moving away from using model years on products. At SmartEtailing, we are removing model years from website display settings to align with this change.

Removing model years allows brands and retailers to better plan availability and control inventory. It helps retailers maximize margins because there is less pressure to discount aging product. Traditionally in the bike industry, when model years changed, retailers experience a reduction in inventory value and incur significant margin risk.

Removing model years helps retailers maximize margins because there is less pressure to discount aging product.


Bicycle Retailer and Industry news has characterized the model year challenge by saying, “it forces retailers to blow out existing inventory, often at a loss, to make room for the new stuff coming down the line.”

As these changes are implemented by brands there can be some resulting confusion by consumers. Consumers commonly will see blended model years, like “2018/2019”, or see a product labelled on your website as “2018” but in reality it is an inline product that you recently received. Anymore, model years increase friction in the consumer shopping process.

As a part of our mission to put the consumer first and simplify the shopping experience on your website, we are making a change to how products display in your website catalog.

On April 24th, we will remove model year from the display of all catalog items on your website. We appreciate that while the industry continues this transition there may be additional difficulty for yourself and your staff with managing your website and your inventory in general. But we are confident that by optimizing the consumer shopping experience we are offering the most practical business solution.

The core catalog data in the SmartEtailing content library will still contain an assigned model year, but it will not display on the item detail page. You will still be able to filter catalog sections you place on web pages or refine custom catalog landing pages. These filters are valuable in marketing when you want to purposefully drive consumer traffic to in-stock aging products. The consumer will still have the great experience of browsing product collections, but they won’t have the confusion of model years.

Moving forward, when a product reaches the end of the product cycle you may feel compelled to discount the product in order to sell it. When you adjust your price locally, your website will automatically update to show consumers the discount. The same rule applies if your suppliers discount their closeout inventory. Consumers will still see discounts, and the price is what ultimately drives the selling of closeout product, not the model year.

If you choose, you are still able to enable model years to display on your individual site. You can adjust your model year display settings in the Catalog Manager of your SmartEtailing website.

Please contact the SmartEtailing support team if you have any questions or want assistance.

Topics: Websites Bicycle Retail Insights Client Updates


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