In this tutorial, I will show you a way to create a simple online store that works on Messenger without a monthly fee and without limiting the number of your customers. To do this, you need to have a PayPal account with the ability to accept payments and be a business page administrator on Facebook.
If you do not have a business page, you will need to create one. It's free and easy. Log in to your Facebook profile and click Create > Page as shown on the picture below, and then proceed as directed.
I recommend that you choose a short and readable name for your Facebook Business Page. If so, your Messenger shop address will be m.me/username rather than m.me/107627700640106, for example. You can choose a username in the About section of your business page, as shown below.
Now we can move on to creating a shop on Messenger. To do this, you need to signup at the Manychat chatbot-building platform. You can do this using your Facebook account credentials. During signup, the Manychat will ask you to complete a small form and grant the required permissions to the Manychat application.
At some step of the signup process, the Manychat will ask you to connect to the platform business pages where you have an admin role. Click the connect button opposite the page you want.
I will not dwell on all features of the Manychat platform in the scope of this tutorial. If you wish, you can do it yourself by watching ManyChat Free Course on Youtube.
For the demonstration, I've created a new business page on Facebook and connected it to the Manychat platform. Step by step, I will create a shop so you could repeat all my actions with ease. To get started, you have to go to the FLOWS section. This is a place, where all scripts for messages are stored.
Select Welcome Message - this is where you can customize the first message your shop visitors will receive.
In the simplest case, it is advisable here to greet the visitor by name, to provide a brief instruction if necessary. We also set here our items to sell.
If you enter two curly brackets together, the Manychat will show a drop-down list of options from which you can add a special field to the text. If First Name is selected, the message will display the visitor's name.
I recommend placing the "Delay" element at the beginning of each message and between the elements. Visitors will see the "Delay" element as typing on your part. Use drag and drop to reorder elements.
If you plan to sell one product or one service only, use the Card element. For installing more items, it's best to use the Gallery element. One Gallery can consist of a maximum of 10 Cards.
Add titles, subtitles, and product images. To add a new card to the gallery, click on the right plus sign of the last card. You can choose the type of image from the two proposed - a square or a rectangle one.
Now you can go to the buy buttons. There are two ways to add these buttons.
So, in order not to pay monthly payments, and not be limited in the number of clients, after adding a button choose Open Website.
Now we just need to generate a PayPal link, in which we provide all the necessary information, such as the product name, price, currency code, and account ID, so that PayPal knows who is the payment receiver. All this can be done with my generator. After you have created the URL, simply copy and paste it into the Website address field for the corresponding item in Manychat.
Important! Before setting real products I recommend to read the Return URL section.
When you have finished creating your products, be sure to publish your work. To check how your script works, click the Preview button at the top of the page. It sends the contents of that script into your messenger.
In case if you would like adding categories, you could do this with ease. Just start with a message with buttons. I highly recommend seeing Manychat Free Course, to learn how to manipulate with elements.
If you need more categories then 3, you could do that with Quick reply element.
Set up products as was described before in every new message. Don't forget to publish your work.
Important! According to Facebook rules, the visitor of your Messenger bot has to accept that you will see his/her public profile. So it is important to inform visitors what is needed to do to proceed. To set your own greeting text go to Settings > General > Greeting text.
It will look like this.
If you were creating PayPal links in my generator, then you may have noticed the optional Return URL form field. This field allows you to specify the address to which your customer will be redirected from the PayPal website after successful payment.
This will help to thank the customer for the purchase and, if important, show some content - a file, links, etc. The good news is that you can bring the visitor back to the messenger. Let's start by creating a new flow and name it as Return URL. To do this, return to the Flows section and click + New Flow button. The flow's name can be other. It's up to you how to name it.
Important! For automatic redirection from PayPal, you have to specify this URL also in your PayPal account settings. You can do this at Account Settings > Website Payments > Website preferences > Auto return.
Add thank you text to the just created Return URL flow.
To get a direct link to the desired flow you have to use the Growth Tools section on Manychat.
Select Messenger Ref URL among other available tools.
Now you have to replace default Opt-in flow with created by you flow with thank you text.
I named it Returned URL, so I need to select exactly that flow.
All done, now you can copy the internet address for your thank you message and insert it into Return URL of PayPal Link Generator.
Due to Facebook Messenger limitations, we are able to set only three options per item. You can simply add three buttons with different PayPal links. I recommend indicating options in Item Name settings using PayPal link generator. Set item name as Men’s Jersey Polo Shirt S for S size and so on.