Recent research has shown that your online reputation has serious monetary worth. Identical goods sold on ebay under different profiles achieved different prices, a profile of 2000 adding around 8% to the final price compared to a new profile.
Being able to add 8% to your prices would do wonders for your profits!
This test was only done comparing different ebay profiles, there is another price point for a company with it's own e-commerce site - and as the quality of the site, branding and customer srvice aspects of the site rises, so does the price. I think there has been an element of comparison shopping going on in the internet which has driven prices down but maybe people are getting savvy to the fact that poorly made shops are very often the front for a poorly run company.
On ebay you can build your reputation by doing more business and getting more feedback, away from ebay this is done through branding and design.
How much is it worth to you as a customer to buy from a company that looks like it knows what it's doing? How much is it worth to you as a shopkeeper to be the one that people trust?