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Consecutive sampling : definition, benefits , drawbacks and example


Market research 04 12

The Ultimate Guide to Consecutive Sampling

Get a step-by-step guide for choosing the correct representative sample for survey research.

Table of Contents


Non-Probability Sampling

Non- probability sampling is a method of sample selection where people are inducted into the sample on a non-random basis i.e. based on the judgement of the researcher. This means that not every person has an equal chance of being a part of the sample . This in some way sets a bar for selection and thus, reduces the number of people in the sample which can lead to sampling bias. This bias is associated with the sample’s lack of representation of the target population .

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Consecutive Sampling

Also known as total enumerative sampling ,consecutive sampling is the process of conducting research including all the people who meet the inclusion criteria and are conveniently available , as part of the sample . The researchers conduct research one after the other until they reach a conclusive result , thus , the prefix consecutive . Here, the sample is selected based on their easy availability, research is conducted , results are obtained and analyzed and then the researcher moves on to the next sample or subject.

A pre -requisite to conducting this research is outlining the requirements of people to be put in the population and then selecting the sample based on convenience . Once this requirement is thoroughly defined , each of the prospective respondent is evaluated to check if they meet the listed requirement and how easily accessible they are for the study . Once they meet the checklist , they are included in the sample population to carry out the research. It is very crucial that the researcher makes sure that the requirement list covers all the aspects that the researching organization wants the respondents to meet as it reflects upon the quality of the study and the analysis conducted thereafter.




  • A shoe brand decides to launch a new shoe design for which they plan to conduct a research to test the market acceptance 
  • They list the requirements that they need from their population and accordingly select and survey each person that enters their outlets ,as a part of the sample. 
  • They then culminate the results obtained from each of their outlets and analyze it to reach a conclusion. 
  • Upon analyzing , they find the results inconclusive as many are not sure about the color coding of the new design while others find it exciting . This prevents them from reach a firm decision of whether to launch the product or not .
  • So they modify the survey questions to get rid of any ambiguity to arrive upon concise and clear results and include a section that allows respondents to suggest changes that they feel should be made to make the product more suitable for the market.
  • The brand conducts the survey again and this time, find that 65% of the respondents feel that the product will be well accepted by the buyers if launched at the earliest. Others suggest changes that the brand can make to convince customers of its necessity and make it more appealing.

It’s clear that in the second case , the brand was able to arrive upon decisive results as a result of learning from their first analysis . This makes consecutive sampling useful for researchers as the process goes on until the results contribute valuable information that can be used for decision making .



  • Cost effective : This sampling method does not require the organizations to hire separate professionals to gather research data . The researcher also saves money by avoiding hiring agencies that find them suitable respondents for their study . This allows the researchers to make cost cuts .
  • Less time consuming : Since the sample is selected on the basis of convenience , not much time is wasted on looking for respondents . This allows the researchers to gather fast data and leaves sufficient time for analysis without causing any haste .
  • Valuable : Consecutive sampling is the most valuable method of sampling as it guarantees results . The researcher can move from one sample to another in order to satisfy the research purpose as well as verifying previously obtained data . This ensures both , value for money and effort.
  • Room for improvement : Consecutive sampling allows the researcher to recognize and correct their mistakes in order to improve future results. As in the above example , the shoe brand ( in this case, the researching organization) was able to correct and modify their survey to avoid repeating mistakes made in the first round and make the study reach more conclusive results .


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  • Sampling bias :  Although the method of sample selection is less time consuming and reduces effort , it can impact the quality of the results obtained . For example ., in the above case , one can argue that the visitors of the shoe brand outlets do not represent the opinions of the entire target population (in this case , the entire population engaged in purchasing on shoes ) . Moreover , there are chances that a particular sect of the the population did not find representation in the sample . For example: It is possible that the study did not cover persons aged above 65 just because they didn’t happen to visit the brand outlet during the timeframe within which the study was conducted .
  • Time in designing and conduction of the survey : Consecutive sampling saves the researchers time in terms of sample selection but it takes a lot of time in designing and redesigning the survey to avoid repeating the same results esp. when the research is conducted too many times before actually obtaining useful results. This depends on the nature of the study and quality of the sample population. For example : the shoe brand obtained conclusive results when they conducted the research process for the second time . This consumed time as the organization had to redesign its survey and reconduct the whole study .


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