Additionally, go for extra content to improve your chances with non generic phrases that others will not have the content to catch.
Definitely, that picks up traffic from searches for many more search terms if there's unique descriptive text and diversity in on-page attributes. It also hopefully attracts inbound links in some cases, or at least increases the chances of getting decent ones.
lies in content, not in links.
There are plenty of great content sites languishing deep within the SERPs, hardly found - because of lack of IBLs. Merchant sites are still holding the trump card for top rankings if they accrue enough link love, which is why some are going to much trouble not only to involve themselves in "creative" link building and buying, but are also coming up with systems to game the engines by duping affiliates into unwittingly passing them link juice.