It is especially hard these days for online businesses to compete with sites such as Amazon. The reason is that small sites often try to directly compete with bigger sites. This is not necessarily the best strategy. One though is to have an eCommerce site that is very niche and only has one category. That way the site can be promoted to those who are interested in that particular category.
A Certain Kind of Customer
Needless to say, to do a category specific site one must strive for having product availability that no other sites have. You don’t always want to get into a price competition with large online venues. Instead it is a good idea to have a specific kind of product for a specific kind of customer.
Become the Best in Your Niche
For example, you might has a website that offers magic books for magicians. Sure, there are other sites offering magic books but if you can become THE magic book site, now that is something to aspire to and will help you get and keep new clients. What kind of niche website are you going to make?!