A Commerce Hub for a Curious Company

Atlas Obscura’s online shop is an employee-curated product and merchandise hub that gives the company revenue opportunities while allowing it to express its distinct point of view to new audiences. 

A selection of shop items, curated by Atlas Obscura staff

Initially prompted by a need to display and market Atlas Obscura’s first published book, the shop grew naturally from splash page to multi-product hub to an affiliate-revenue-driven curation platform.

The shop’s layout was built around the constraints and limitations inherent in displaying affiliate content. I created a system of browser-generated overlays that would visually anchor product stock images and give the impression of a virtual cabinet of curiosities. The abstracted shelves could hold products of all shapes and sizes, unifying products from disparate vendors through design treatment.

The shop homepage

An item page.

An intriguing object described in an article elsewhere on the site could be sold directly to the reader via the shop, adding new depth and emotional resonance to the reader’s experience while demonstrating to them the brand’s utility.

An article page featuring an item in the shop.
Collections of items could be thematically grouped by staff, allowing Atlas Obscura to bring relevance to the products selected. A collection could be created around an Atlas Obscura-hosted event or trip as well as holidays and other special occasions, empowering readers to get the best gear for their next adventure (or the most unique gift for their next birthday party).
As Atlas Obscura’s own product line and series of published books grows, the shop will be well equipped to expand and showcase new additions to the collection.