Convenience sampling can be used by almost anyone and has been around for generations. One of the reasons that it is most often used is due to the numerous advantages it provides. This method is extremely fast, easy, readily available, and cost effective, causing it to be an extremely attractive option to most researchers.
Expedited Data Collection
When time is of the essence, many researchers turn to this type of sampling for data collection, as they can swiftly gather data and begin their calculations. Because very little preparation is needed to effectively use convenience sampling for data collection, it is useful in time sensitive research. It is also useful when researchers need to poll a large number of people, as they can quickly reach their desired number of participants by utilizing this method to draw from the nearby population. By rapidly gathering information, researchers and scientists can isolate growing trends, or extrapolate generalized information from local public opinion.
Ease of Research
Because researchers are not looking for an accurate sampling, they can simply collect their information and move on to other aspects of their study. Setting up for this type of sampling can be done by simply creating a questionnaire and distributing it to their targeted group. Through this method, researchers can easily finish collecting their data in a matter of hours, free from worry about whether it is an accurate representation of the population. This allows for a great ease of research, letting researchers focus on analyzing the data rather than interviewing and carefully selecting each participant.
Since most convenience sampling is collected with the populations on hand, the data is readily available for the researcher to collect. They do not typically have to travel great distances to collect the data, but simply pull from whatever environment is nearby. Having a sample group readily available is important for meeting quotas quickly, and allows for the researcher to even do multiple studies in an expeditious fashion. If a researcher has a deadline to meet he or she will often turn to this type of sampling instead of employing another form of sampling.
One of the most important aspects of this method is its cost effectiveness. There is minimal overhead because there is no elaborate setup, and researchers can pull from local population groups. This method allows for funds to be distributed to other aspects of the project. Often times this method of sampling is used to gain funding for a larger, more thorough research project. In this instance, funds are not yet available for a more complete survey, so a quick selection of the population will be used to demonstrate a need for the completed project.
Because there are still many instances where it is advantageous to use this method of population sampling, researchers will often turn to it instead of other, more thorough methods. It is likely that this form of sampling will still be around for many more years to come, because it is speedy, cost effective, and readily available.