Lion logo

Lion Enhances its Customer Beverage Ordering Experience with a Mobile App and Portal through SAP on AWS


Lion is a leading alcohol beverage company in Australasia. The company produces, markets, sells, and distributes a range of adult beverages throughout Australia and New Zealand, while employing over 3,000 people.

Lion isn’t just focused on making and selling products—it’s committed to meeting its customers’ needs. To support this objective, the company implemented an SAP S/4HANA enterprise resource planning (ERP) system in 2019 to increase order and inventory visibility and improve real-time reporting for customers and vendors. However, through its Voice of the Customer program, the company learned that its customers wanted more. Specifically, customers were seeking a personalized digital ordering and self-service experience.

To meet these needs, Lion responded with the creation of a new mobile app and web portal, allowing customers to place orders anytime and anywhere. “Our customers wanted a more digital experience, and we wanted to offer more automation and chat services as well. But there were limitations to what we could deliver with our existing platform,” says Robb Simpson, Lion’s digital director. “We wanted to design an intuitive solution in a format customers could consume easily. However, our digital team was small at the time, just five people. We had some back-end capability but lacked the team to build and maintain the platform we envisaged.”

Because it sought to launch a new solution in under a year to meet funding and market expectations, Lion knew it needed its development and design teams to move faster. “In general, we needed more agility to be able to bring products to market at speed,” Simpson says. 


Working with Bourne and AWS, we created a new experience for our customers. One that makes it easier and more convenient for them to order our products and check inventory wherever they are.”

Robb Simpson
Digital Director, Lion New Zealand

Designing a custom app and portal for retailers and restaurants

While preparing for the project, Lion realized it required assistance from an outside organization. “We came to the conclusion that there’s no point investing in design if we don’t have a development partner capable of bringing that design to life,” Simpson adds,

Lion discovered what it was looking for in Bourne Digital, an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner and cloud solutions provider. Bourne Digital is a digital consultancy specializing in user experience design and digital solution delivery services for SAP environments. “Bourne’s SAP expertise was critical because of our SAP application environment,” says Simpson. “We also knew Bourne was focused on innovation and doing things in an agile, modern way. In addition, we already had an expanding AWS environment, and we wanted to build on that in the year ahead.”

Bourne worked with Lion’s internal development team and AWS to design a solution that met Lion’s scalability, security, and compliance requirements. Bourne focused on front-end work, leading a process that included a technical proof of concept and review alongside a design and test phase. “Bourne really helped us bring our vision to life within a web and app context,” says Simpson.

Together, Lion, AWS, and Bourne created a new customer-facing app and portal, Lion Marketplace. Now, over 25,000 retailers, restaurants, and vendors can order products or check past invoices quickly and easily from mobile devices or traditional computers. Users can also be notified when preferred products are restocked and become available to order.

Lion Marketplace takes advantage of AWS serverless technologies such as AWS Lambda and Amazon DynamoDB, a fully managed database service. Additionally, it uses Amazon API Gateway for creating and managing APIs, giving Lion the ability to build and run applications without having to manage and maintain infrastructure.

“AWS and Bourne were instrumental in providing the right platform and tools to architect our solution in a serverless manner,” says Simpson.

Improving user experience and providing customer self-service capabilities

With its new app and portal, Lion serves up a seamless digital experience, featuring updated design, powerful search functionality, and personalized product marketing and recommendations. Customers can also scan the barcode on Lion products to instantly access that product’s website.

“Working with Bourne and AWS, we created a new experience for our customers. One that makes it easier and more convenient for them to order our products and check inventory wherever they are,” says Simpson.

As a result, in many cases, Lion customers have self-service capabilities and no longer need to call into the company’s contact center for assistance.

Additionally, because Lion and Bourne seamlessly integrated Lion’s SAP environment into its new application environment, customers continue to benefit from ongoing SAP system enhancements.

Rapidly building and launching a new web solution

Working with Bourne and AWS, Lion developed and delivered Marketplace Web MVP faster than expected. “I haven’t seen an application of this quality and complexity developed as quickly as this,” Simpson says.

He attributes this speed to the AWS serverless architecture and its seamless integration with the SAP environment, alongside close, multi-team collaboration. “We integrated Bourne into our development teams so we could learn from them about design and agile processes,” says Simpson. “It was a fusion of all teams, and that worked very well. This wasn’t like simply dealing with a vendor. They became a part of our team.”

Bourne and AWS also supported Lion’s agile development approach, which gives Lion the ability to deliver new features and solutions faster than before. For instance, Lion’s developers can make enhancements and changes to the portal immediately, based on customer feedback. “We can iterate faster now. Whether it’s making changes based on our own internal feedback or feedback from our users,” Simpson says. “This is partly due to our agile approach, but also because we’re a small company using a flexible AWS framework.”

Auto scaling to meet peak ecommerce platform usage

When demand on the app or portal rises quickly, Lion has the elasticity it needs to adjust at speed. “Lion Marketplace is a busy ecommerce solution, and resource usage fluctuates frequently,” says Simpson. “Using AWS, we don’t have to worry about accommodating peak periods. AWS takes care of scale and performance, so we don’t have to.”

Lion anticipates taking advantage of additional AWS services as it enhances Marketplace. “AWS serverless technology will help us to easily support chat and messaging services, for example, opening up further customer reach possibilities,” says Simpson. He concludes, “We’ll use AWS for anything we can in the future, because we know it’ll help us grow our solution and improve performance and customer experience.”

Learn More

To learn more, visit

About Lion

Lion is a leading beverage company headquartered in Sydney, Australia. Dating back more than 180 years, Lion is known for its commitment to quality, craftsmanship, community, and sustainability, and recently became Australasia’s first large-scale carbon neutral brewer. Lion’s core portfolio includes many locally loved brands in Australia and New Zealand.  

Benefits of AWS

  • Builds and launches new customer app and web portal quickly
  • Improves user experience
  • Delivers customer self-service capabilities
  • Scales to meet fluctuating ecommerce platform usage

AWS Services Used

Amazon DynamoDB

Amazon DynamoDB is a fully managed, serverless, key-value NoSQL database designed to run high-performance applications at any scale.

Learn more »

AWS Lambda

AWS Lambda is a serverless, event-driven compute service that lets you run code for virtually any type of application or backend service without provisioning or managing servers.

Learn more »

Amazon API Gateway

Amazon API Gateway is a fully managed service that makes it easy for developers to create, publish, maintain, monitor, and secure APIs at any scale.

Learn more »

Get Started

Organizations of all sizes across all industries are transforming their businesses and delivering on their missions every day using AWS. Contact our experts and start your own AWS journey today.