Hello! My name's Keir Whitaker and I'm a UK based business consultant dedicated to helping Shopify focused agencies, app companies, and technology partners attract new customers, build their reputations, and grow profitable businesses.
I am also the co-founder of Default — a company dedicated to building products and services for the Shopify ecosystem. In 2020 we acquired Smart Order Notifications — a Shopify app which helps merchants automate order notifications with powerful rule-based actions.
I've been working in the technology, web, and SaaS sector for 20 years — both independently and for companies including Shopify. I've worked in web development, product marketing, content strategy, team development and held numerous leadership positions.
Before starting my own consultancy business I spent over six years working at Shopify. In 2012 I joined the Partner Program team with the responsibility of promoting the benefits of Shopify as a platform and business opportunity to the web and entrepreneurial community.
I gave away thousands of beautifully designed t-shirts, worked on conference stand designs, ran Liquid and theme building workshops, presented at conferences including Unite and MC'd numerous conferences including Pursuit. I was also lucky enough to build and lead a team of highly motivated and talented individuals who helped bring these ideas to fruition.
I worked in the Shopify Partners Marketing team from 2012–2018. Having met and collaborated with 100's of Shopify Partners I am uniquely equipped to understand the challenges faced in the expanding Shopify ecosystem.
Done well marketing is the glue between a great product and your ideal customer. I believe in creating marketing that is friendly, educational, and ultimately right for your business and not simply following the crowd.
Over the last ten years I've written tutorials, edited popular web design blogs, and helped curate a series of books read by thousands of Shopify Partners. I'm a firm believer in the power of great content marketing.
I'm a self-taught developer with a strong background in the "web stack". I built my first web site in 1998, was around when WordPress was in beta and published my first Shopify theme in 2007!
Service agencies present their own unique challenges — trust me I understand. During my career, I've worked in agencies, for agencies, and even founded and ran my own web development agency with a focus on content driven sites.
I've attended 100's of events and have helped produce and curate many more including Shopify Unite and Shopify Pursuit. Events, done well, are a hugely powerful way of building trust and relationships with clients and customers.
Since 2011 I have presented at a number of conferences in Europe and beyond. Additionally, I have devised and delivered workshops focusing on Shopify theme building, the Liquid template language, ecommerce, working in the web industry, podcasting, and the value of side projects.
As well as speaking at events, I have also been involved in producing and curating workshops and conferences. In 2016 as part of my work at Shopify, my colleague Cat Hunter and I put together the first A Day With Shopify conference in Bristol, UK. It attracted 150 Shopify Partners from 13 countries and was the forerunner of a five-country tour in 2017, and morphed into Pursuit for 2018.
These experiences have given me a unique insight into the value of in-person events and the benefits they can bring to a business. Helping select speakers, craft their story, and hone their presentations has been a very rewarding experience and one I hope to do more of.
In 2019 Cat Hunter and I hosted De:brief — a full day event for Shopify Partners which took place in Toronto, Canada directly after Shopify Unite.
Attended by over 150 Partners working at the forefront of the ecosystem, and supported by many of the leading agencies and app development companies, the day took the form of panels and discussion on the big announcements from Shopify's annual get together.
It was a fun, and unexpected ride — read the full story and see more photos from the event.
Over the last ten years, I have contributed to many online and print publications including Net, Smashing Magazine, Tuts+, Creative Bloq, and SitePoint. From 2011–2012 I served as an editor with the amazing team at Smashing Magazine helping curate and edit articles that appeared weekly. In 2017 I was delighted to be asked to be the technical reviewer for Gavin Ballard's Apress book "The Definitive Guide to Shopify Themes: Master the Design Skills to Build World-Class Ecommerce Sites".
Back in 2013 Kieran Masterton and I started a web industry-focused podcast called The Back to Front Show. We've amassed 49 episodes and plan on getting back behind the mics for #50 one day! Podcasting is a great medium and, done well, can lead to unexpected returns.
Before moving to Bath from London in 2008, I worked at a small web development agency with a focus on large scale data-driven web applications as well as undertaking a variety of freelance projects. Pre 2004 I held a number of mostly web-related positions in the NHS (National Health Service) in East London, UK.
Before the internet was even a thing I worked at the Royal Albert Hall in the box office. I have many funny tales from this era, feel free to quiz me if we meet.
My short business survey is designed to help me understand you, your business, and the challenges you are facing. After receiving your answers I'll get back to you within 48 hours to book your complimentary 30-minute consultation.