Amazon is looking at purchase and interest data of users, and psychographics trying to figure out who can benefit from the same or similar purchases. As they grow to dominate the market more and more, they will have more data to extract more sales information leading to more and more efficient sales.
How can someone compete with that?
Show people something they haven’t seen. Be a curator of the uncommon. If the goods are something that is everyday, Amazon is going to find the right people, faster. Deliver the goods cheaper. And beat the pants off any upstart. Now it’s possible to appeal emotionally by being the small guy, but that will only get you so far.
Uncommon goods. A curator of the unexpected and delightful. A convincer. Those are the things you have to be to beat Amazon.