An overview of Submarine and what it brings to the table.

Submarine is a tokenised payment platform that allows Shopify Plus merchants to build bespoke customer experiences around:

  • Subscriptions;
  • Memberships;
  • Pre-sales;
  • Crowdfunding;
  • Saved payment methods; and
  • One-click purchases and upsells.

It's developed by Disco Labs, based on their years of experience working with enterprise organisations with complex requirements, and is presently deployed at scale for a number of large Shopify Plus merchants.

This site provides detailed technical information on Submarine, including information on how the platform works, what it enables merchants to do, and how it can be leveraged by developers to build bespoke customer experiences.

What makes Submarine different?

Unlike many other payment or subscription solutions available for Shopify, Submarine is designed exclusively for Shopify Plus merchants with custom requirements.

Shopify native

Wherever possible, we leverage Shopify's native functionality, rather than replacing or duplicating it. This minimises the footprint of our application, but also ensures maximum compatibility with native Shopify features like checkout customisations, Shopify Scripts, discount codes, gift cards, and Shopify Flow.

It also ensures greater compatibility with other third-party solutions which may be integrated into a merchant's Shopify store.

Developer friendly

Because Submarine is designed for situations where bespoke development is required, we aim to provide developers with as much information as possible about how Submarine works, and then get out of their way.

The Submarine application does not add any Javascript to a merchant's storefront, or automate or require any changes to Liquid templates. We simply provide documentation on integration points and access to open-source libraries that can be pulled into custom development workflows and adapted within each merchant's theme.

Tailored for merchants

Submarine will never be a "one-click install" solution - but we see that as a virtue, not a weakness. We have a direct, one to one relationship with everyone using the platform and as a result are able to ensure that Submarine adapts to meet the needs of merchants, not the other way around.

Key advantages

Compared to other subscription or payment solutions available in the market, Submarine:

  • Uses the native Shopify checkout. This in turn means:
    • Merchants can retain control over checkout customisations;
    • Shopify's ability to handle high-volume and flash sales in checkout is retained;
    • Shopify Scripts are fully supported for custom discounting logic;
    • Native Shopify discount codes and gift cards are supported without duplication;
    • Shopify's native fraud detection rules are still applied;
  • Does not duplicate products or SKUs within the Shopify admin;
  • Integrates directly with the Shopify admin for order management, including refunds;
  • Provides a comprehensive customer-facing theme API for completely bespoke payment and subscription management by customers;
  • Provides a bevy of Shopify Flow actions and triggers, allowing "out of the box" integration with other systems such as loyalty, email marketing, and referral apps;
  • Allows integration with localised or proprietary payment processors.