The cost of PPC is going up.
Google can change their algorithm and you can lose half your traffic overnight (which actually happened to one of our clients recently).
If your product can be sold on Amazon, chances are it’s already there and being sold for less money than you care to admit.
To succeed in online retail as a small business, you need to stand on something other than price.
You need a unique selling proposition.
You need something that Amazon cannot do.
Something that WOWS your customers during every interaction.
Think about how Zappos ships out packages faster than their customers expect. Just look at this Yahoo Answers thread to see how this very act impacts their customers and makes them want to spread the word:
Perhaps Zappos is not a great example, given that they are owned by Amazon!
Prior to co-founding Revenue Conduit, my wife and I were running an online store selling jewelry. Part of our WOW was putting a hand-written note in every package. Our customers wrote us back and raved to their friends about us. Not a bad return for spending an extra 20 seconds on each package we filled.
What is your WOW? What are you doing to knock the socks off your customers?