Big Interview: Moss Bros CEO Brian Brick founder and technology entrepreneur Scott Weavers-Wright explained earlier this month that if Amazon had a store portfolio it would ask for email addresses at the point of sale, "because you can't let thousands and thousands of transactions go through a day and not have any idea who bought these items".

His comments relate to the theory that retailers must develop a single view of the consumer in order to understand how their customers shop on each channel, which opens the way for more tailored and personalised communication later down the line.

Formalwear retailer Moss Bros is one company striving to create that single view, and over the last year the company has introduced a number of measures to help it join up its channels and better understand its customers.

Yesterday saw the business report some encouraging figures for the full-year period to 25 January 2014, with group like-for-like sales up 4.2% and profit before tax jumping by £1.3 million to £4.4 million. Group sales were £122.2 million in total, but it was some of the announcements around its multichannel development, with online sales now representing 5.1% of turnover, that emphasise the company's current area of focus.

By Moss Bros CEO Brian Brick's own admission, the retailer was late to the game in terms of launching an eCommerce operation, but having established an online transactional site in January 2012, the company is investing in creating that desired single customer view.

"Our hire data is held in one place, our retail data is held on another platform and our bespoke data is elsewhere," he explained to Essential Retail.

"We bought a system called Cordys, which is basically a giant adapter, and we plug all our customer data into that so that it is in one place. As we do that, we make the amendments in each of our platforms, so actually there's one view of the customer.

"All customer information is in one place so wherever we interact with them, we can use that data."

The concept of dealing with big data is high on many retail boardroom agendas, especially as new selling channels such as online, social media and mobile have emerged in recent years.

Research released this week by analytics company Teradata and software provider Celebrus Technologies showed that 80% of digital marketers think personalisation will be essential to digital marketing success by 2016, while more than half believe it already is.

The study found that 36% of digital marketers identified data storage and integration as their biggest data challenges, with only 39% saying they currently store all of their customer data in a single centralised data warehouse.

By using the Cordys system alongside other techniques such as offering customers the opportunity to receive digital receipts – a process soon to be implemented in-store – Moss Bros is growing its understanding of how customers interact with the retailer across separate channels, as well as linking up each division of its business.

"The new Hire website, launched in November 2013, marked the introduction of a single customer database across stores and online, including full transaction history for customers," Brick explained in yesterday's preliminary results report.

"Our retail stores and websites will also be incorporated into multichannel during 2014. Once completed this will enable customers to shop for retail and hire across a range of channels – in-store, PC, tablet, mobile.

"Once full multichannel capability is in place, we will leverage our new single customer database using customer relationship management software tools so that we can focus customer communications on propositions that are relevant and appealing."

The exponential growth of online retail over the last decade has naturally put new pressures on retailers in terms of fulfilling customer orders, and Brick is well aware of the importance of providing consumers with a choice when it comes to receiving their online deliveries.

The introduction of nationwide click & collect facilities in January 2013 has reportedly been well-received by Moss Bros customers, resulting in a 50% increase in online shopper conversation rates. Brick indicated that around 15% of online sales are via click & collect, and he cited the convenience for customers of trying a product on in-store.

"The whole delivery side of eCommerce is evolving very quickly, and there are lots of conversations about how it will evolve," he added.

"The customers will tell you what they want, and delivery is going to become what will give retailers an edge. If you can't deliver quickly people will say 'I'll buy elsewhere'."

Moss Bros's plans for the next 12 months include modernising its store portfolio, improving its brand marketing strategy and upgrading infrastructure, which covers its point of sale, stock control and distribution centre systems. However, it is the development of its eCommerce platform in the UK and internationally that remains central to the company's plans.

Expansion through online retail into international markets is underway with dedicated sites launched for the Republic of Ireland, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands, but further territories, including the US and the larger European markets of Germany and France, are also in Moss Bros's sights.

The company will launch eCommerce operations in Australia during the first half of the current financial year, too, and Brick says he will consider any countries where potential business can be done.

"Our eCommerce saw 208% growth last year and is now 5.1% of our turnover – we see no reason why it can't get to the same double digital percentage of turnover that other retailers have," he explained.

"Two years ago, our question was 'Do suits sell online?'. We know they do, so it's about how many more can we sell."