Overraskelsesmarkedsføring i praksis: Et studie af overraskelsers indflydelse på relationsskabelse ved online handel

Anders Enna & Kasper Ahlefeldt Andersen

Student thesis: Master thesis


This master thesis, ‘Surprise marketing in an online environment’, discovers the effects of surprise marketing on online consumer relationship management. The study is based on a case study of an online butcher that wishes to raise customer satisfaction and customer loyalty by surprising their customers positively. The online butcher is defined as a niche brand and as part of the online grocery market in Denmark and the customer base are primarily subscription based. Surprises can and should be used by companies to create delighted customers (Vanhamme & Lindgreen, 2003, Oliver & Rust, 2000). Delight is defined as the highest level of satisfaction and created through a pleasant surprise (Plutchik, 1980). According to the disconfirmation paradigm, satisfaction is created through performance that sufficiently exceeds expectations. When consumers are positively surprised, it can lead to similar behavioural effects such as loyalty, repurchase and recommendations, and because of that it is interesting to investigate surprises in an online consumer market. This study links surprise marketing and customer relationship management for this specific case, although the differences are not significant in every investigated aspect of satisfaction and loyalty. On the basis of this thesis, it is concluded that surprise marketing has a vague, positive effect on relationship management. These results are to some extend different from the surprise marketing theory. Nevertheless, the study finds indices that surprise marketing is able to create preferable outcomes for web shops, if the strategy is managed in the right way and the company complies with the assumptions regarding the use of surprising elements. One characteristic that can impact the results is the current customer satisfaction level, which is relatively high for this case study’s customer base. This study also investigates the effects of surprising elements, depending on the consumers’ earlier experience, the perception of unpacking a delivery, gender differences and attraction of new consumers. Findings in this study have been collected with a combination of quantitative and qualitative analysis methods through questionnaire surveys and telephone interviews. To measure the effects of surprise marketing, the following methods have been used: T-test, ANOVA analysis and partial least square – structural equation modelling. With the rather ambiguous conclusion of a vague, positive effect, the researchers find potential in further discovering the use of surprise marketing both in pre-purchase and after purchase situations and hereby attracting new customers and developing current customers.

EducationsMSc in Economics and Marketing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2015
Number of pages213