The practice of offering of massage gift certificates and other products online was validated this week with new national research on online sales.

Online spending data released by comScore showed that trends in online spending outperformed offline in several key product categories. Topping the list was Sport & Fitness, with an 18-percent increase since 2008.

Several companies specialize in online gift certificates for massage therapists, which the therapists can then direct clients to purchase or offer on their own websites.

The study compared comScore e-commerce data to overall (online and offline) consumer spending data published by MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse Unit for the period of Nov. 1 to Dec. 24 vs. a year ago. SpendingPulse is an information service provided by MasterCard Advisors, a subsidiary of MasterCard Worldwide.